Mourning House by Pascal Arquitectos

This is a project with very strong emotional implications. We had to understand the mood of the user, who at such this moment would not care very much for an aesthetical analisis of any place, but at the same time we wanted to create a space that can create a spritual mood, for this we refered to ancient buidings that were designed for this purpose, as the Egiptian “Mastabas” or some Mayan buildings in Palenque.

Religious rules and buildings codes in the Jewish Religion are very strict for this kind of places, and we were guided by several groups of Rabbies for this matter.

A project of this nature must encourage introspection and peaceful visual harmony through a discrete use of materials and lighting. The construction is located in a residential area and being planned as an isolated construction from the sorroundings, an indoor illuminated yard was built. The building façade is completely covered by Grissal flamed granite.

The building welcomes de visitor with a 6´4” wide and 30´ high triangular shaped wooden door which leads to an access tunnel in the same shape, creating a solemn atmosphere as you enter. This darkening experience at the entrance ends when the hallway opens to a large, double height granite hall illuminated by the northern light coming from the indoor courtyard with a tall Dracaena at the center and a symbolical abstract sculpture by artist Saul Kaminer as the only artwork piece for decoration.

No furniture was used inside this place,only a floating bench surrounding the room, that is made out of the same wood used in all the building. It also serves to hide al of the air conditioning, speakers and recesed lighting which adds a dramatical touch. This way the rooms shows no added ornament but the light and shades playing on the granite volumes.The ceiling is made of dark cumaru wood and floats without touching any wall and a skylight puts a highlight on this detail.

AWARDS

• November 2008 – IV SMI International Biennal of Interior and Landscape Design, Guadalajara 2008. Silver Medal Winners: Meditation House, Institutional – Religious Category. Honourable Mention for Nisha Lounge Bar Hospitality, Restaurants and Bars Category.

• August 2008 – X Biennal of Mexican Architecture Exhibition 2008. Silver Medal Winners: Meditation House (Religious buildings) and Honourable Mention for Nisha Lounge Bar (Interior Design and Visual Integration).

• May 2008 – IX Biennal of Architecture 2008, Costa Rica: “Retos y Desafíos del siglo XXI”. 2008 First Prize Winners with Meditation House.

• November 2007- Bienal Miami+Beach 2007. Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design. Silver Medal Winner, Public Buildings below 10,000 sq.feet, Meditation Chapel.

Architectural Project: Pascal Arquitectos, Carlos Pascal & Gerard Pascal
Construction: Arch. Rafael Salame
Project Date: 2006
Area: 262 m2
Address: Bosques de las Lomas, Mexico City
Photographer: Víctor Benítez

source: pascalarquitectos.com

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