Herzog & de Meuron designs Switzerland’s first motorway chapel

Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron has designed a church that will be placed at the edge of the A13 motorway in the Grisons region of east Switzerland.

The 10m-high Autobahnkirche will have a 280 sq m floor area, and is based on the idea of a medieval wayside chapel that is adapted to the modern world. Herzog & de Meuron notes that there are currently 46 similar buildings in Germany.

The A13 motorway connects the village of Andeer with the town of Chur in the north, and the San Bernardino Pass in the south.

The project will contain an above-ground chapel consisting of four equal-height walls that lean and support each other.

Underneath, three chapels congregate in a "funnel-shaped earth space", according to Herzog & de Meuron. One will be dedicated to reading, one will contain a reflecting wall and a skylight, and the third will offer a panoramic view of the landscape through tinted glass.

Jacques Herzog, Herzog & de Meuron’s founder, said: "The project is unusual for us because neither the spatial programme nor the location were clearly defined.

"The idea for the chapel in Andeer had to emerge from the site alone, from the location, from the road."

Images courtesy of Herzog and de Meuron

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News