Santa Clara Chapel, by Niemeyer, inspires Orfeu coffee – 04/03/2024 – Café na Prensa

Santa Clara Chapel, by Niemeyer, inspires Orfeu coffee – 04/03/2024 – Café na Prensa


At the top of a mountain on the border of the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, more than a thousand meters above sea level, between coffee groves and olive trees, a construction designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012) breaks the green of the landscape and stands out in the horizon. The Santa Clara chapel, one of the architect’s last works, was inaugurated in 2008 – four years before his death, at 105.

It is located within an Orfeu coffee farm which is technically located in the São Paulo municipality of São Sebastião da Grama, but is closer to the center of Poços de Caldas, in Minas Gerais. The exact location of the chapel is less than 2 km from the state border.

When Niemeyer learned that there was a desire among the property’s employees for a chapel on site, he decided to give the project as a gift.

All white and without external adornments except for a cross at the top, the chapel has curvilinear shapes that mark the architect’s work.

Inside, the sober tone remains. Two oval windows on the sides guarantee natural lighting. The wooden benches have no backs, so there is almost no visual barrier between those who enter and the discreet altar, also made of wood, which spreads out in front of an illustration on the back wall. In it, a person is sitting under what appears to be a starry sky with a cross in the center.

The architect himself left a message explaining the work: “This is a man looking, surprised, at this fantastic universe that surrounds us. In this a cross stands out reminding those who arrive, the idea of ​​God who created everything .”

Despite being an atheist, Niemeyer designed several religious works, such as the Brasília cathedral and the Pampulha church, in Belo Horizonte.

Now, inspired by the temple designed by the architect on his farm, Orfeu launches the Oscar Niemeyer microlot, made from a blend of yellow bourbon and macaw beans produced in coffee trees located close to the chapel.

The launch of the special edition takes place during SP-Arte, an art and design fair that opens to the public this Thursday (4) and runs until Sunday (7), at the Biennale pavilion in Ibirapuera Park, one of Niemeyer’s most iconic works .

There, visitors will be able to taste and purchase the microlot in two cafes designed in honor of the architect.

The new batch is available in grain versions (R$ 33.50, 250g), roasted and ground (R$ 33.50, 250g), capsules compatible with Nespresso (R$ 33.50, ten units) and drip coffee, which are sachets to strain individually, directly into the cup (R$ 39.90, ten sachets). The products can be found in supermarkets and on the brand’s e-commerce.

The packaging was created with curvilinear shapes that recall the characteristic features of Niemeyer’s projects. According to the company, the coffee has sweetness and citrus acidity, with notes of pineapple, peanuts and dulce de leche.

Despite being located on private property, Orfeu’s idea is that, with the launch of the cafe in honor of the architect, the Santa Clara chapel will be open for visits on some weekends.

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