Capilla de la Roca
To memorialize the date of two earthquakes — september, 19 of 1985 and 2017 — we propose to build a chapel in the epicenter of the latest one. By inserting a perfect circle into a quiet, wild place, we introduce a special experience of heaviness and disturbance into a constantly changing natural environment.
Disaster reactivates our conscience about nature. On 19 September 2017 an earthquake struck Central Mexico at 13:14 hrs. with an estimated magnitude of Mw 7.1. The earthquake caused damage in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City área. The quake coincidentally occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed around 10,000 people.
According to Aristotle nature is the principle and the cause of movement, of the inherent evolution and constant change of things. When we observe nature through time, we perceive how fragile and blurry the limits are between its different elements: life and death, solid and air, hot and cold seem to coexist in an ever evolving landscape. The history of nature is the tale of invisible metamorphoses and spectacular incidents. Nature evolves without conscience. It is there.
The proposed chapel is a cylinder made of concrete slabs supporting a giant rock resting on the top. The circular hole perforating through the rock is cut with such an angle, that the sunlight only lights up the interior of the chapel once a year — on the date of the earthquakes. Thus, the sun creates a spotlight around a golden ball marking the starting point of the disaster.
One of the most primary acts of civilized man is the conquest of space and time.
Situating the platonic form supporting a big perforated rock where sun rays enter only once a year, the space inside becomes a reflection of the dialectics of culture and nature... a reflection of time, of change, of us.