Case Study: Kuñotambo

This project is a collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura-Cusco.

Site Description

The Church of Santiago Apóstol is located in the Comunidad Campesina Kuñotambo, a remote village of 500 inhabitants located southeast of the city of Cusco. Constructed in 1681, the church was built with thick mud brick walls and buttresses over a rubble stone masonry base course and a wood-framed gable roof. The one-story, 500 m² church consists of a large rectangular mass oriented along a North–South axis and a baptistery and sacristy located along the east lateral wall of the main church. Rich wall paintings depicting saints and various decorative elements adorn the interior.

The main church is a single room containing five different functional spaces: a sotacoro, choir loft, nave, presbytery, and altar. Prior to intervention, the structural performance of the building was severely compromised by a leaking roof, inadequate or broken connections of the roof framing, the loss of several exterior buttresses causing structural vulnerability of the walls, and settlement of the foundations due to the erosion of the site which had led to cracking at wall junctions.

Page updated: November 2017