The design of the new conventual complex in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, involved architects and clients with the shared goal of creating a community that would establish a positive relationship between man, the built environment, and nature.
The complex is comprised of low-tech buildings, where wood textures design the structure and cladding, giving the building a strong architectural identity, enhanced by the use of local artisanal manpower and traditional cooling techniques.
Planimetrically, the classic typology of the convent, developed around a single closed cloister, is reinterpreted, multiplying the number of cloisters, and thinning out the buildings to allow the wind, which constantly blows from the east, to circulate between the 6 buildings of the complex: a refectory, a church, an administration building, a library, a sacristy, and cells.
As architects we strongly believe that architecture can positively change people’s lives. We have created a building that embodies prayer and hospitality, while responding to the region’s tropical climate and social context.
Maria Grazia Prencipe & Cesare Querci, Founders, Mixtura
Large wooden roofs and brise-soleil protect the buildings from direct solar radiation, while permeable walls and rotating adjustable panels keep the rooms naturally ventilated,, without the use of mechanical systems.
The complex was designed to combine maximum energy efficiency with minimum environmental impact, aided in large part by the use of photovoltaic panels and rainwater recovery systems.
Photos: Cesare Querci