Shrine in Alberite combines traditional stone arches with modern materials
A new shrine designed by Otxotorena Arquitectos S.L that incorporates re-salvaged stone arches and concrete has been built in Alberite, La Rioja, Spain. The stone arches were a key element of the design and played a prominent role in the 12,250 sq m project, after being rescued from a demolition in the area. According to the Pamplona-based firm, concrete was used together with the traditional stone arches due to the ‘continuity, stability and solidity’ of the material.
The building, which has been built in honour of the virgin of ‘La Antigua’, the patron saint of the area, will be used for both private and personal prayer and traditional religious festivals. Special attention has been paid to the lighting of the shrine, with the combination of natural and artificial light, in order to achieve the necessary secluded environment for a religious building.
Much has been made of the position of the plot of the shrine, which is located close to Alberite and offers spectacular and dramatic views out onto the local countryside. Situated half-way up a steep slope in the Rioja landscape, the building is visible from afar although attention has been paid to make it blend in with its surroundings
The design of the two-storey building includes an overhanging entrance area, to shelter visitors to the religious building from the sun and the rain. This outside space was integral to the design, and the chapel has been designed in such a way that the shrine of the virgin of ‘La Antigua’ can be seen from the both the interior and exterior areas. The Spanish practice completed work on the project in 2009 after the site was handed over by the local council.