Saint Benedict Chapel – Peter Zumthor

architect_ Peter Zumthor
location_  Sumvitg, Graubünden, Switzerland
project year_ 1985-1988
photography_ Marta Cassany and Carla Llaudó

In 1984 an avalanche destroyed the baroque chapel at the entrance of the village of Sogn Benedetg. A recently built parking lot had acted like a ramp pushing the snow from the avalanche up against the chapel.

The new site on the original path to the Alp above the small village is protected from avalanches by the forest above. The new wooden chapel, faced with larch wood shingles, was inaugurated in 1988.

This Chapel was conceived as a single space, the exterior form was defined by the single interior space. The geometry of the church is dynamic and elusive to the eye, all this exacerbated by the implantation of the building on a steep slope.

Sogn Benedetg is made out of wood, similar to the locally built houses. Its structure has aged beautifully with the years, making the wood become darker with the weather.