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An Open Door.

The project of Divino Salvador church was born from the study of the liturgical Christian space evolution and from an attentive look and comprehension of the complex morphology of the intervention site.

A base built by granite walls extends from the surroundings, sustaining the temple. A new distribution churchyard separates, both functionally and volumetrically, the new church from the multipurpose building, like an exterior antechamber which invites users to silence and self-communion. At the churchyard stands out the sky, the sound of the olive tree leaves swept by the wind and the running water of a fountain.

A glass door appears as a metaphor for an open and tolerant Christian community, inviting anyone who enters the churchyard to be part of one big sharing family.

Inside, the presbytery and the nave rise towards God by the large vertical clerestory which draws the resurrection of Christ through its glazed and luminous walls. The clerestory is also the calling element of the church, as it substitutes the traditional steeples. In the new church, the calling is done by the light instead of the sound.

The two side aisles end up on two vertical chapels that hold the tabernacle and the baptistery. Both chapels represent the uniqueness relation between the sacraments and God.

The Mortuary Chapel, located on the north side of the building, has its entrance by the yard of the old Mother Church of São Salvador, conferring unity to the old street profile and assuring a continuous use of the old building for mournful celebrations.

Awards & Recognition:

2020finalist of the International Prize for Sacred Architecture, Frate Sole Foundation and mentioned as 'Ambassador of the International Award of Sacred Architecture' for the period 2020-2024. 

2020, nominee for the 'Construir 2020' award, 'best private project' category

2021, nominee for the 'Archdaily Building of the Year 2021', in the 'Religious Building' category

Photography: Alexander Bogorodskiy

Photography 3D: Pedro Fernandes | Vítor Leal Barros

Architecture Model: Manuel Gaspar

Consultants: Sopsec | Jofebar | Indelague | Logacústica | Louproj - Nuno Silva Eng.º | Filipe Ferreira Eng.º | Orlando Sousa Eng.º | Marco Oliveira Eng.º


Divino Salvador Church


Freamunde, PT


December 2019



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