Metropolitan Cathedral Montevideo, Uruguay Building Project, Photo, Architecture Design

Metropolitan Cathedral Montevideo

South Tower Redevelopment, Uruguay, South America – design by Estudio / LT Arquitectos

9 Dec 2013

Metropolitan Cathedral South Tower Rehabilitation

Location: Montevideo, Uruguay

Design: Estudio / LT _ Arch. Martín López + Arch. Juan Pablo Tuja

South Tower Rehabilitation


The intervention focuses on the interior of the Cathedral’s South tower: a multiple height vertical space (h = 20 m), where the weights up and down movement launches the XIX century clock. This religious building in Uruguay had been abandoned for several years, until the actual renovation in 2012.

Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral


The room leveled with the temple entrance atrium was recovered, as well as small spaces attached to the tower, which develope at different heights, adopted new functions and activities. A small gift shop, storage and maintenance sectors and a small mausoleum to house remains connected with the history of the Cathedral.
The equipment design of these spaces was inspired by the clock weights system and reciprocal Renaissance structures. Whereas, is an aim taking it to its minimal expression so the building components can still be the stars.

The system defines support and display plans, which vary in terms of place or height, or add new ones at any time by a simple assembly of nuts that slide by long stretches of threaded rods that function as tensors.
Lighting seeks to exalt the work of brick walls preserved in their original state that, opposed to the inner walls of the temple, never been restored or modified.
Up on the organ level, a small space was conditioned to be used as a small mausoleum for human remains that Cathedral kept from years. You can get it from the level of the organ and it is a balcony for viewers to see the vertical tower empty volume.
In the same place, six meters above another small space was fit, allowing the natural light to the vertical space as well as access to technical pendulum for repairs.

Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral South Tower Rehabilitation


Entering from the Atrium after crossing the heavy, massive, 2.50 m thick tower walls, a giftshop of 2.50 x 2.50 meters, is developed.
Above this, the multiple height empty space is located, where weights circulate, and where you can see the clock pendulum at the top.
This is connected to another small room and then to the anteroom of the stairs to the organ, from where you can enter the south wing of the temple.
This way, a different connection between the inside of the temple and atrium is built, via a new route. The experience of this journey is enriched by a warm close contact with massive walls of brick, typical dimensions for the time (40 x 20 x 5cm.).
The promenade turns to be a sequence of smaller spaces, in where telling the prominent height of the vertical hollow tower body, comes as a surprise. These are characterized by an early shelter atmosphere almost like a cave carved into the rock mass. Visit them is like walking through the bowels of the Cathedral, where contact with the walls materiality tectonics lack of ornaments can be made.


This was a work that has been developed in a few square meters,
but work has involved many representative cubic meters for the city of Montevideo.

Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral South Tower Intervention – Building Information

Title: South Tower Rehabilitation
Architects: Estudio / LT _ Arch. Martín López + Arch. Juan Pablo Tuja
Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
Intervention Date: 2012
Collaborators: Lucía Leal, Manuel Machado, Paula Redondo.
Area: 32 sqm

Photographers: Daniela Soto, Manuel Machado

Metropolitan Cathedral South Tower Rehabilitation, Uruguay images / information from Estudio / LT Architects

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Metropolitan Cathedral South Tower Rehabilitation Building

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