Ancestral Church of Fraião

Ancestral Church of Fraião

Architect
Nuno Capa | Architect
Location
Tv. de Valbom 4, 4715-213 Braga, Portugal | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Churches
Stories By
Nuno Capa | Architect
Attilio Fiumarella

Ancestral Church of Fraião

Nuno Capa | Architect as Architects

The architectural intervention in the Ancestral Church of Fraião, in Braga, Portugal, is an intervention of analysis and decision. An analysis about the degradation state of the latest interventions carried out in the beginning of the 20thcentury. The coatings and extensions made with painted cement mortars, both inside and outside the main church, reinforced the decision to uncover its original characteristics by removing the degraded coatings.
The scarce information about the former construction further drives to the commitment to unveil its essence and the interventions previously carried out.

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella

The design plan presents a simple spatial organization, composed by two rectangles of slightly different dimensions – nave and main church - with an archway passage, this one revealed with the removal of mortar layers.This single organization also reveals itself in its volumetry where the nave overlays on the main church, although disclosing a slight increase in brick work.
 The bell tower, on the left side of the axial entrance of the nave, is a construction of cement-base structure and cladding from the beginning of the 20th century, where no pre-existence sign of the building has been revealed. 

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella

Therefore, the intervention to propose would have to follow a principle of contemporary intervention, setting out its time dimension and which not only accommodate the new exterior thermal and accessibility requirements, the interior acoustics and lighting needs, but also the restoration of the choir and the altarpieces of the main and side chapels along with the installation of new ceramic panels and stained glass windows.The layers of plaster and cement of the façade accumulated throughout the years were subtracted, bringing the stone back to the surface as a solemn act of the "beginning" of the works.

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella

At the same time, this return to the basis, and which restored the original expression, led to a more contemporary intervention on those elements that could not be changed, as is the case of the bell tower.

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella

Therefore, if on the one hand the concept of subtraction on the facades is set, for this tower and for the volume of the eastern/southern elevation it is now proposed the incorporation of a steel skin patina - Corten steel - whose properties will empower the construction to receive a rusty layer, conferring it features of maturation in the course of time..

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella

The project’s decision for the Ancestral Church of Fraião traces a path between the subtraction and the aggregation of distinctive elements, whose formal symbiosis results in the significance, scale and work of materials in the building time.

photo_credit Attilio Fiumarella
Attilio Fiumarella
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