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Chapel of Saint-Benoît Peter Zumthor

Published 28 / 10 / 2020

Saint-Benoît Chapel is located in the village of Sumvitg in the Swiss Alps. Built in 1988 following an avalanche that destroyed the old baroque-style building, the chapel is now on the edge of a forest that protects it, with an incredible view of its surroundings.

Imagined by Peter Zumthor, the chapel fits perfectly into the landscape. His The envelope is made of larch tavaillons - wooden tiles that serve as both thermal insulation and weather protection - whose brown-red color turns gray-black when it rains heavily. Besides the technical aspect, the use of tavaillons allows Peter Zumthor to refer to the traditional construction of the region. Inside, a continuous line of natural light, placed at the top of the wall, follows the shape of the chapel. A wooden structure also follows the teardrop shape of the plan, supporting the framework and accentuating the effect of perspective. 

Imagined by Peter Zumthor, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2009, the chapel would be for some a sample of the work of the architect. The precision of the carpentry and the attention to detail testify to its rigor and unparalleled know-how.

  • Photographer: August Fischer
  • Location: Sumvitg, Switzerland
  • Year: 1988