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Museu Regina Mundi

Mother of God, Mother Earth,

In the Aura is the symbol of its pure presence.

Transcendent. Santa

Alto da Serra da Piedade welcomes the expression

magnificence of his image, spreading out like a vast natural mantle.

That white ring, made of iron from the Serra, signals and solemnizes devotion.

A place that can be seen from very far away, from very high up, to think about love and generosity.

Gustavo Penna


A space of devotion dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus. Its location, blessed by nature, allows the crowning of Serra da Piedade along with the Nossa Senhora da Piedade Sanctuary. Thus, two sacred spaces reside on the top of the Serra, one to the east, the other to the west.

The strategy is to highlight the defining geology of this place. The old military buildings are demolished and the renewed cleanliness of this land is maintained by buildings that fit imperceptibly into the mountain. The slabs shape themselves, becoming slopes, like a mantle that receives vegetation cover from the region. Excavation is minimal, only for general leveling of the land and anchoring the building to the existing topography. The limits of these buildings are dissolved through a geometry that refers to the angulations of the local rocks and through gentle slopes associated with the vegetation of high altitude fields. The perception is of an invisible building, mysteriously embedded in the rocks.

At the same time, the subject to be revered deserves a visible symbol, equivalent to what it represents. Working in the field of metaphor, we chose the undisputed representation of the divine: the Aura of purity. A 20m diameter metallic ring comes to rest on the iron mountain, transforming it into Mary's veil and mantle. Symbolically, divine motherhood is linked to mother nature, to the natural, human world.

This circular element forms a frame over the landscape, directing the visitor's gaze to the sky and surrounding cities. The route that starts from the Sanctuary, upon reaching the museum's reception, sees this aura in the distance. When approaching, he finds around him an untouchable, protected space, referring to the sacred and inviting reflection. The passerby is led to a silence and there plunges into the interior of the museum, through a circular atrium where a ramp and stairs lead to the exhibition spaces.

Upon reaching the ground level, the visitor is led to the exhibition path, where he immerses himself in the history of Mary and her manifestations around the world.

After this route, the visitor is faced with a large open space, located to the east. It's like going through a birth process, after diving into the exhibition cave.

An open elliptical square is then revealed, embraced by the grassy mantle on which the metallic ring that represents the aura rises. This is both a gregarious space and a space of silence and contemplation. It offers a clean viewpoint and can host anything from an open-air mass to musical performances.

The chapel is a sacred place, located in a more reserved place. Like a hermit's grotto, it is a space for contemplation open to nature, to the action of time and weather. It is a balcony covered in UV-protected glass, a crystal between the stones, a worship space whose benches seem to sprout from the stone tiled floor.

After passing through the spaces, the visitor continues his visit, being led to the café and shop area.
From there he is taken for a last look through the aura and his visit is then completed.


Gustavo Penna, Laura Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Ada Penna, Alice Flores, Bárbara Novais , Gabriel de Souza, Gabriel Moura, Henrique Neves, Hugo Leite, Ivan Rimsa, Júlia Salgado, Naiara Costa, Oded Stahl, Patrícia Gonçalves, Paula Sallum, Raquel de Resende, Raquel Moura

Management and Planning

Risia Botrel, Isabela Tolentino and Taimara Araújo


Caeté – Minas Gerais – Brazil


Technical Data
Year of the project: 2015

Built area: 4,787m²


Digital House

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