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Iglesia San Pedro in Durazno 1/14

Uruguay 1971


Engineer Dieste’s proposal sought the creation of a temple, with three naves without separating columns.

The two post-tensioned beams 7 meters high as a diaphragm and reinforced bricks, are supported between the atrium that was preserved and the new presbytery that was built, saving the distance of 32 meters. The support is made with two reinforced concrete porches, separate them.

The support is specified in two reinforcing reinforced concrete porches. One incorporated into the old wall that separates the atrium form the nave and the other included in the wall of the new presbytery where it meets the central nave.

These two beams, collapsed slightly inwards, are at the same time the walls that define the space of said central nave.

The flat reinforced brick roofs of the aisles rest on one side on the outer walls of the old aisles. These walls were lined with reinforced brick wall, tilted inwards with the same slight collapse as 7 meter high post-tensioned beams of the central nave.

On the opposite side, these flat roofs hang from the 7 meters high post-tensioned beams, ensuring the rectilinear shape of the edge that joins them.

The roof of the central nave is a reinforced brick fold composed to two horizontal slabs on each side, and two inclined slabs in the centre, forming a gabled roof, with lateral eaves.

This post-tensioned cover on each side, in the angles that form the edge between each horizontal slab and its neighbour inclined slab, covers the distance of 32 meters between the atrium and the presbytery as well as the 7 meters high post-tensioned beams which are the side walls of the central nave.

Two longitudinal grooves in the roof along the central nave separate the walls of the roof, making it “float”.


The roof and the walls are linked through small metal columns, in an ingenious structural resource that avoids the deformation derived from the enormous distance of 32 meters, that this set covers without intermediate supports.

The presbytery is closed with a faceting of walls of reinforced brick, also slightly collapsed towards the interior in the form of a tower.

On the side facing the central nave, a window above the roof generates strong interior light, which highlights the altar. The roof of the presbytery made of the reinforced brick, is a folding of slabs that rest on the walls of the presbytery, accompanying the facets that form the tower.

In the modified choir in the existing opening towards the nave, Dieste designed a rosette window made up of reinforced brick plates that remain almost in the air connected to each other at the centre of the meeting edges between the plates by radial steel rods, thanks to the complex balance tensions and compressions.

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