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The Blue Chapel

The extension of life through architecture

This project answers to a private order for the construction of a family tomb, like the small characteristic mausoleums typical from the Portuguese cemeteries. The construction assumes the traditional volumetric silhouette (rectangular plan and gable roof), but contraries the tradition in what concerns the lighting and symbolic decoration used by this kind of typology.
Supported by a mixed constructive system of metallic and stonework (marble) structures, it frees the main and back facades from its traditional structural functions, transforming them in two manufactured stained glass panels, composed by mosaics in four different shades of blue.
The iconography refers to Christian elements of personal preference of the honoured and patriarch of the family, including the design of the door with stylized olive branches, the altar consecration to Our Lady of Fátima (sculptured by the Portuguese artists Martinho Mendes and Silvio Cró), the Cross which cuts the tombstone floor as a symbol of Christian faith and the introduction of a flower box at the altar beside the large stained glass windows.

Photography: Vítor Leal Barros

Consultants: Nuno Silva Eng.º


The Blue Chapel


Freamunde, PT


January 2009



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