prize winner

Jae Cha


Urubo, Bolivia

December 2000

The jury was much moved by the quality of space of the little church at Urubo in rural Bolivia. Using the simplest of materials: traditional timber (but pressure treated) and modern translucent polycarbonate sheeting, the architect has managed to conjure an intense feeling of the numinous. The work is the more powerful because it was partly designed by the architect on site, when the exact positioning of the translucent sheets was determined. The patterns of light and many degrees of shade record the movements of the sun against the heavens, the times of year and of day. They talk of the transience of existence, and yet reassure with the regularity of the simple rhythms of the almost archetypal structure.
Construction was carefully worked out so that the congregation could build their church themselves. The result is extraordinarily powerful, and shows an exemplary relationship between architect and community.

Contact: Jae Cha