In Deux Sevres, Melle, designer Lehanneur sign spatial choir of the church St Hilaire. The designer and sublime dialogue with Romanesque architecture, it slips a touch of minerality hyper, a sudden appearance of white marble that

conceived "Prior to the church building. A mineral presence that might even justify that the church was built there. Echoing the extreme attention to earth energies stones and territories in building Romanesque churches, this Shrine was built on this specific area for the perceptible energy that emerges. "

"A strangely paradoxical architectural gesture that will undoubtedly obvious landmark in the development of religious works. The white marble creates a homogeneous mineral block formed of successive layers which seem to recall the sedimentary formation of the basement. The liturgical furnishings (altar and pulpit) are the ones made of alabaster amber, close to the color of the original stone of the church. the result is a visual shock as Lehanneur has the secret, this time using the purity of geological chaos to emphasize the perfection of Romanesque geometry.

The overlap between the church and the mineral mass is complemented by the baptistery dug into the matter. Water seems to be that he welcomes the river flowing below the church. Ultimate entanglement of the building with its environment.

A scenario inspired by the topology of the place, like a “box” sunk in the sand, the church indeed gives the feeling of being nestled in its territory. It is not a simple building placed on the ground, it forms part of the region itself and reveals itself to the visitor on the way down. The central idea of ​​the project was therefore to accentuate this feeling of progressive discovery and earthly anchoring ”I imagine that when this“ box ”sank into the ground as if pushed by an invisible hand - perhaps divine, it revealed its geology, the visible face of a mineral and massive form. A revelation which seems prior - and not subsequent - to the construction of the church.

This interplay between before or after building can generate a terrain that poses a natural hierarchy between the celebrant and the faithful. He simply uses the topology to place greater voice. Organic architecture which is yet not break with liturgical and hidden codes of symbolic invariants as the baptistery with eight sides, or the built altar at the crossing. "

Photographs: Felipe Ribon

For more information, visit the website Lehanneur.

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