The timber textures draw the new convent by Mixtura studio

The group of Roman architects reinvents the introverted character of the convent between community and climate sensitivity.

In the São Cristóvão district of the Brazilian city of Salvador, the Italian firm Mixtura has completed the project for a new monastic complex, interpreting the spaces between spirituality and community in a contemporary key.

Developed from the rules marking the life of the convent, the project rethinks the typical closure of monastic spaces. The traditional layout, organized around a single cloister, has been fragmented. This multiplies the buildings, allowing at the same time for a more significant relationship with the open space: a key element of Mixtura's project, which in a symbiotic way connects with local climate, exploiting the natural ventilation that crosses the various buildings and enhancing the presence of nature inside the complex.

Mixtura studio, FFB Convent, Salvador, Brasil, 2022.

Five cloisters thus structure the space, where the autonomous bodies of the buildings are gathered together by a large roof. Here, the tectonics of materials constitute the project's main theme, covering both an architectural and bioclimatic role at the same time. In fact, the lifted roof allows the hot air to escape thus guaranteeing — together with the brise-soleil system — cross-ventilation in the cells and the various closed spaces. Thus, the generated textures design the convent's multiple architectures, articulated in structures, infills, or exoskeleton elements.

The use of timber in the various textures and reticular structures thus marks the space of the buildings, while preserving their autonomy at the same time, through clear variations in height and materiality. The convent library is an outstanding example of such approach, a translucent polycarbonate volume framed by a system of wooden beams and pillars, fitting like a lantern, within the small-scale spatial fabric of this architecture.

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