Chapel Our Lady of Guadalupe

Place: University of the Isthmus. Fraijanes, Guatemala
Date: 2015
Design/direction: Eduardo Delgado Orusco
Team: Javier Rincón Sánchez

If there is an image of the Virgin that is familiar in Latin-American this is undoubtedly that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, called Queen of Mexico and Empress of America.

The miraculous nature of his appearance to the Indian Juan Diego was recently valued thorough his beatification (1990) and canonization (2002) by St John Paul II. The image printed on the ayate of maguey -the blanket- of Juan Diego, has a mantle of stars and the moon under her feet.

The Virgin´s mantle and the cloak suggest an element of protection, following a traditional representation of the Virgin: the Madonna of Mercy -Lippo Memmi (1350), Piero della Francesca (1444-1464), Doménico Ghirlandaio (1472) - or the Virgen de la Cueva-Francisco de Zurbarán (1655).

In a landscape like Fraijanes, where stands the campus of the University of the Isthmus (Guatemala), this idea could serve as protective cover of the chapel for those who will come to pray to the Virgin. This representation could be updated and become a small architecture.

A circular roof that evokes, through its geometry, the celestial world, being crossed by a series of holes that let in a series of lightning-the mantle of stars- activating a drawing changing hours of the day and day of the year.

The entrance of a larger ray of sun could be designed so that at noon it shines illuminating the image of the Virgin.
Along with this roof, and onto the floor at the foot of the Virgin, an artificial topography could generate a round bench-the moon at her feet - where pilgrims could accompany the Virgin.

Finally, a third circle could mark the floor of the chapel, to protect the site of the defects of the rains. This could be decorated with recognizable and very simple Marian motifs as those named in the Litany of the Holy Rosary.

The mantle of the Virgin for protection.