Engineered by Foster + Partners and built by Italian furniture company Tecno, the chapel structure reflects the lightness and ethereal nature of the original concept. It consists of a ramped steel floor structure that supports a timber deck and a tensegrity structure which is made up of steel masts and cross arms, braced by prestressed steel cables and small inclined circular hollow sections. These enable the horizontal cross-arms and vertical masts to be separated from one another while remaining structurally stable. Together, they create a roof structure capable of resisting both vertical gravity loads and lateral wind loads.
The space is enclosed by a series of thin timber slats made from larch that span from the deck to the tensegrity structure. They allow dappled light to enter the space, while providing shade and defining the chapel’s volume. The connections between the timber slats and the tensegrity structure were designed to slide independently to ensure that the slats would not be overloaded when the entire structure moved under wind loads.
Jasmine vines planted around the structure will climb onto it over time, softening its contours and releasing a gentle fragrance to enhance the sense of spiritual calm.