St Salvador Augustinian Convent


A building that in history is linked to the evangelization process of the area. The lighting is diffused, homogeneous, soft from below: glare is avoided which would not allow the frescoes to be read. The objective is to return the complex to pilgrims, highlighting its architectural, pictorial and devotional values




Malinalco – Mexico


Arch. Gustavo Avilés

The convent of Malinalco founded in 1540 by the Augustinian order, also known as the convent of the transfiguration. The complex plays a very important role in the evangelization process of the area. In particular, through wall painting, which is used for the adoption of the new religion. The paintings, a predominant feature of this architecture, can be observed in the four walls and in the vault of the cloister. They are divided into three themes: the first is an extension of orchards and gardens, where it is possible to identify the indigenous flora and fauna of the time, twenty-three native specimens, which currently grow in the ecological area of ​​Malinalco; the second in Renaissance style and the third based on Christological scenes referring to the passion. The lighting project has the task of giving prominence to the frescoes, but at the same time maintaining their sacredness, integrating as much as possible with the architectural part. For this reason, linear recessed floor lighting fixtures were chosen. In this way the optical compartment becomes invisible and the light emitted allows a complete reading of the frescoes which highlights their shapes and chromatic perception. The light underlines the architectural details of the cloister façades, bringing the visitor's eye inside, towards the frescoes. Diffused, homogeneous, soft lighting from below, which allows the frescoes to be read without the risk of glare. The project returns the complex to the pilgrims, through a complete reading of both the architectural, pictorial and above all devotional values.