© Milo Keller
For the conversion of their mother house, the deaconesses of St Loup organized a competition in which constructional modifications to their existing chapel were foreseen. A temporary house of worship was required for the intervening period, therefore. The proposed form of construction – with folded laminated wood sheeting – allowed the spatial enclosure, the load-bearing structure and the internal finishings to be combined in a single layer. Since the interior was meant to suggest a traditional chapel, the overall line of the zigzagging folded walls is slightly curved on plan, so that the space narrows towards the altar, while at the same time increasing in height. Alternate folds were set out of line, creating an interplay of larger and smaller wall segments that enlivens both the facade and the internal space. This has the advantage that the roof valleys slope, thus aiding the run-off of rainwater. The irregular folds also enhance the acoustics and the play of light. Daylight entering through the end facades falls on the angled elements, causing subtle lighting effects.