Living Spring

Concept

Year
2019

Location
Rukomo, Rwanda

In Collaboration with
Prathyusha Viddam

Type
Architecture

“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13

The Living Spring harnesses the landscape and climate of Rukomo to provide a literal and spiritual watering hole for the surrounding community.

In the remote rural regions of Rwanda, access to clean water is still a critical issue. Each day, many must trek long distances to fetch water from wells and springs scattered across the countryside. As a source for both clean water and worship, the chapel supports the mission of the Poor Clare sisters to live a contemplative life whilst building a supportive community.

Encircling the monastery site, stone channels bring rainwater downhill into a reservoir where the water is briefly held before being purified through a filtration system. Walking up from any side of the hill, people will encounter the channels and can follow them to find a secluded chapel built into the hillside using some compressed earth blocks from the excavated site.

People can access the water from the lower side of the hill whilst preserving the peace inside the chapel. The interior of the chapel is a flexible space that can accommodate church services as well as a variety of other community activities.