Human beings cherish questions that are greater than their mind. They keep wishes that are fonder than their heart.
Some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient architecture have not been built to meet immanent needs. Temples, pyramids and cathedrals are built as the expression of the faith of a community. They are the symbol of a persistent longing for transcendence. They stand for an innate and insatiable yearning for the divinity. Wherever there is a community, there is a sacred space.
Rukomo is a remote village situated in the upland of Rwanda. Rukomo is the inaccessible heart of an inaccessible continent. Here lives a community that has overcome moments of deep and great sorrow. The scars of such history still remind people of the indifference and apathy affecting the “First World”. Despite having little, here people smile often. These people live faraway from the hectic lifestyle of large areas of the world. These people look for spaces for their interiority and experience an intense return to spirituality. Rwanda Chapel is for each one of them.
Rwanda Chapel is YAC’s competition dedicated to the community of Rukomo. It aims at donating a church to believers and to the local religious community. It will be a place of peace and conciliation where to celebrate or meditate regardless of disagreements and differences. It will be a place where to be united in the longing for eternity.
One of the most exciting themes for generations of architects has always been the sacred space.
With the competition Rwanda Chapel the design of such space will offer an additional opportunity. Through contemporary architecture, architects will have the chance to support one of the poorest areas of the planet.
Rwanda Chapel is the outcome of international collaboration. It aims at donating a real monument to Rukomo. It will be a symbol of global solidarity and cooperation. It will also be an architectural masterpiece dedicated to one of the most elusive and recurring mysteries of history: the divine.
Yac thanks all the architects who will take part in this challenge.