A waterfall inspired the form of this minimalist French Alpine hut, designed by Atelier Poem as a lay meditation chapel and winner of the 5th edition of France’s self-construction Le Festival des Huts competition.
The peaceful all-spruce Chapel of Tears is a spiritual interpretation of a hikers’ refuge and a mirador (a tower with a view). It has a high, narrow parallelepiped shape that is cut lengthwise down the middle, like a cavity eroded by the flow of a waterfall. It has an open roof and stands in solitude by a stony creek along a nature trail in Saint-Ferréol, near Lake Annecy, in southeast France.
Atelier Poem blackened the Haute-Savoie hut’s exterior to contrast with its natural wood interior and emphasise its shadowplay. The chapel has an open door and a window framing the cascade at either end. The French practice built the structure entirely by hand in just five days – a process, its architects say, of great learning.