The chapel arose from the need for a gesture that is quite rare today – a votive offering for the construction of the Wrocław city ring road (AOW). However unusual this task may be, we have tried to translate the traditional model of sacrum, to contemporary forms and meanings. The religious space, historically defined by the cubature of the object of worship, has been symbolically dessolve here. Due to the interesting continuous interaction with the AOW we decided to build conventional spatial borders. EPCH 420 energy-absorbing barriers, which form five offset rings, virtually cut out the space, making it “safe” in the symbolic meaning. In order not to interrupt the perimeter of the rings, we decided to lift them slightly so that they could be entered, while at the same time creating a moment of culmination of form lined with a religious symbol. The geometry of the polygons together with the supports defines the centre of gravity, in relation to which the contemplation bench was placed. In this way a simple interaction was created between the viewer and the functioning highway, filtered through religious symbolism.

The vast majority of the elements used to build the chapel are recycled and dismantled. The bent barriers still bear the marks of traffic accidents, perhaps one of them saved someone’s life. The concrete and asphalt used for the base slab laid abandoned after the motorway was built and overgrown with weeds. In an era of public discussion about industrial waiste and ubiquitous kitsch, it has been possible to convince church representatives for the contemporary form and recycled thinking.

The venue is completely open and accessible at any time of day or night. Located next to a newly developed recreational route, it can become a short stop on the way for those not seeking contact with religion. Abandoned in the traffic chaos, in a flowery meadow, its intriguing geometric form may become a contribution to a short reflection on the transience of life.

Upcycling votive chapel, Wrocław, Żerniki (Autostradowa Obwodnica Wrocławia - AOW/Motorway Ringroad of Wrocław)

Autorzy projektu:Maćków Pracownia Projektowa: Zbigniew Maćków (Chief Architect), Eliasz Matuła (Lead Architect)
Współpraca:Bartłomiej Witwicki, Monika Kalinowska, Aneta Roguszczak, Anna Piekarowicz
Inwestor:Parafia Św. Wawrzyńca; Pomysłodawca, original concept: Rafał Dutkiewicz
Generalny wykonawca:Rem-Bud
P. zabudowy:226 m2
Zdjęcia:Maciej Lulko


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