Estudio ALA created this open-air chapel with a tall brick tower for staff at a tequila factory in the Mexican countryside (+ slideshow).


The Guadalajara-based architects created the Centinela Chapel for the Tequila Centinela drinks factory in Arandas, in the western state of Jalisco.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

The chapel stands on a broad platform overhanging a lake and is surrounded by fields of agave plants – the principle ingredient in tequila. Piles of uprooted plants are heaped outdoors the weathering-steel chapel gates.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

“The chapel is discovered inside a tequila factory, found in the northeast of the state of Jalisco – recognized to be a single of the most religious locations in the country and 1 with the most outstanding modern Mexican culture,” explained the architects.

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“This spiritual and social room is a reinterpretation of the mixed-use spaces that exist in older haciendas and houses of the area, in which folks utilised to have a chapel or oratory in their own houses.”

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

Solutions are carried out in an outdoor courtyard, but worshippers can get cover from the sun below a hollow tower made from pink terracotta tiles and unbaked brick. These supplies were chosen to aid the developing blend with the nearby architecture.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

A shorter brick shelter stands on the other side of the courtyard and together the volumes frame views of the sky and a close by lake.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

“The tall dominating volume shelters the visitor and frames the sky with its sound and sturdy presence, making it possible for light to cast powerful and defined shadows into its interior volume, emphasising a spiritual expertise,” said the studio.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

Closed walls to the south also help to shade the courtyard from the robust sun, and supply privacy for worshipers.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

The broad but short entrance gates are created to give the chapel a human scale, explained the architects. “The minimal height of its major entrance opening underlines the feeling of intimacy and sanctity,” they mentioned.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

“We meant to generate a sensory interaction between spaces, dissolving the edges amongst the interior and exterior, protected and linked to nature.”

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

The gates can be opened into the factory yard to increase capacity and a slender terracotta cross – the only decoration in the space – can be relocated.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

“These spaces can be separated dependent on the event and the spot needed for the religious ceremony sometimes getting as versatile as to let to triple their capacity into the adjacent spaces,” said the architects.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALA

A terracotta path connects the factory and chapel, enabling employees to admire views of the lake and field on the way to companies.

Photography by Víctor Orendain.

Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALAStrategy layout one particular – click for greater image Centinela Chapel by Estudio ALAStrategy layout two – click for larger picture

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