A divine inspiration from the outset
The Shrine of Mother of Mercy
In the Magaliesberg
The Shrine of the Mother of Mercy is to be a sacred place for the Catholic Church in South Africa and a place of pilgrimage for its patrons. The design includes a chapel and multi-purpose hall. It is positioned on a natural, mountainous, site in the Magaliesberg which invites a special style of architecture using Biophilic design principles (where nature becomes part of the building) to allow the building to blend in with and respect the surrounding environment.
We were inspired by the Wayfarers Chapel, designed by Lloyd Wright, the Son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and built between 1949-1951.
The Concept of the Chapel and the Multi-Purpose Hall Design was in truth a heavenly inspiration. The number Seven is dominant in our Liturgy, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Seven Sorrows and Joys of Mary. It is the driving aspect of the design of the multi-purpose hall with its floor plan being designed in the shape of a heptagon, a seven-sided polygon and roof creating a flower with seven petals. (a Symbol of our Mother Mary) Each of the seven walls has large sliding folding doors with ventilated glass panels above. The roof is made of lightweight material with Seven large clearstory windows beneath each leaf structured to rest on a large ring beam holding the Seven Petals The petals are linked to a central smaller heptagon rooftop with additional smaller clearstory windows [see attached 3D]. While in the hall one will experience the feeling of the Magaliesberg Mountains all around the building from all angles.
Around the perimeter of the building is a large tensile covered patio with a circular Porte – Cochere.
Seven Rosary Gardens: the five Mysteries of the rosary, the Seven Joys and the Seven Sorrows of Mary, will be scattered around the multi-purpose hall. The hall sits on the leveled ground at the base of the mountain.
From there on the Journey begins for the pilgrims. Two scrolling pathways take you up the Mountain leading you to the candle grotto just beneath the Mountain peak. Each pathway is a journey of spiritual prayer: One is the Fourteen stations of the Cross (the Via De Larrossa: The way of the Cross), the other is the VIA Lucis, The Way of Light Stations of the Resurrection.
The Site has a 140m difference in height levels. The Chapel will be situated on the peak of the mountain, glorified and majestic. A cable car will be designed to convey people from the entrance of the property Car park to the top of the mountain. The Site will be designed to accommodate all users in a user-friendly manner as possible.
In all, there will be 7 x Ablution Blocks scattered around the whole site.
The Existing buildings will remain; they will be used to accommodate various activities and other needs for the project to be efficient.
Across the road, the from the site a series of Chalets will be provided to accommodate pilgrims to spend a weekend of Retreat and Meditation.
The Shrine of Mother of Mercy will be a beacon of light for pilgrims from all over South Africa and hopefully from other parts of the world.