top of page

A MULTI-RELIGIOUS TEMPLE: Evoking sensorial experiences - B.Arch final thesis Author: Matheus Ximenes / Advisor: Ana Rolim
Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP), Brazil
3rd Prize Winner International Competition Anonymous.d Spiritual.d: A Spiritual Space in the Contemporary World

The Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), boasting 30,000 alumni from diverse backgrounds, lacks a dedicated religious space on its campus. The proposed temple aims to foster a neutral environment where all beliefs can coexist harmoniously.


The design focuses on sensorial stimulation to enhance human perception and emphasize the senses. A multi-religious approach is adopted, avoiding explicit religious symbols and instead conveying fundamental concepts of Life and the Divine through water, light, and landscape. These elements are carefully integrated into the architecture, with textures, plant scents, and a waterfall enveloping the building to create a subtle and tranquil atmosphere.


Water, symbolizing life and comprising half of our body, plays a central role in the design. It cools the building and produces a calming sound, inviting individuals to transition from the outside world into the temple's serene environment. The architecture, characterized by long white concrete porticos or "ribbons," leads visitors through a glass portico overlaid by a waterfall into the ceremonial room and infrastructural areas. A symbolic "lighthouse" emerges from the central ribbon, serving as a beacon at night and enhancing the building's presence on campus.


The temple serves as a transitional space between the city's chaos and the sanctuary within. Its design embodies tranquility, unity, and reverence, offering a place for worship, meditation, and communal gatherings.


This project received 3rd place award in the international competition Anonymous.d Spiritual.d. that called for the design for a spiritual space in the contemporary world. A video is available on YouTube.

Night view of building

Conceptual models

Diagrams of lighting effects and layout variations

Overall exterior view

Exterior view with reflective pool

Interior view of facing curtain wall towards garden

The waterfall enclosing one of the building façades

View of entry foyer

Interior view of ceremonial space

Modules for individual meditation set in the surrounding landscape

bottom of page