Site Specific Arquitectura wanted to create a place of worship "without artifice or excess" for the brothers of the monastery in Apelação – a parish on the outskirts of the Lisbon.
The project reuses the existing building and enhances it to give it new meaning; this was achieved through a process of austere and rigorous designing, which relied on the simplicity of volumes, natural lighting and inherent qualities of proposed materials. The simple concrete structure was retained and the main room revealed as a whole and wide space, without artifice or excess and the backdrop decorated with liturgical fittings to highlight a sacred and theological sense.
The central altar stands out, in solid timber, with no delineation of presbytery - a place for all, without hierarchies - and, together with the pulpit, allows a wide range of layouts and different degrees of intimacy in religious celebrations. The Cross was conceived as an integral part of the celebrations and the building itself, being physically connected to the concrete structure through a locking system, also able to be removed and taken for procession.
The interior space is still strongly marked by two wooden elements: the sacristy, to the west, which includes the confessional booth open to the garden, and the partition wall, at south, which frames the depictions of Jesus Way of the Cross.