Attractively situated at the Nagelfluhrücken and next to the Krumbacher moor, the existing Lourdes Chapel has been rebuilt. A renovation of the old chapel was not possible and to regenerate the existing building was not the desired aim of the local community, as they preferred to use existing knowledge and courage to create a new chapel.
The new chapel shape is based on the existing 200 year old structure and has been built out of wood and stone with the aim of the design to change colour with the sun. The wooden façade will turn to more of a black colour in the south and a silver-grey colour in the north to reflect the old farmhouses in the area.
Slightly elevated, the chapel sits on a stone base and sets itself apart from the ground. A structurally staged concrete step deliberately lets visitors first enter the converted outdoor space, rather than the interior. Once inside the chapel, the shape of the room offers a new space for visitors. The inside of the chapel is dominated by materials used to transform the walls and the roof.
The roof of the chapel uses wooden shingles as a continuous material and the exterior wall is an example of local, architectural vocabulary. The steeple, which is also made out of wood, has created a building that impresses with its concise character.
The statue of Mother God, which has been retrieved from the original building, has been arranged in a new way opposed to the classical concepts and is located at the side of the apse. The view straight ahead through the white apse leads directly into the nature of the site with the light that shines through the frontal window providing a special atmosphere for all.
The new chapel took several years of designing and constructing with more than a hundred volunteers making the project possible. The new chapel was designed by Bernardo Bader architects and unites the historical and traditional aspects that characterise many places in Bregenzerwald.
Bernardo Bader is an architecture firm from Krumbach, the Austrian region of Bregenzerwald. The work of Bernardo Bader investigates how architecture can be embedded in regional building culture and is based on local architectural grammar.