2022

MCHAP

FUEGO NUEVO CHAPEL

WRKSHP arquitectura + urbanismo

MONTERREY, Mexico

June 2020

PRIMARY AUTHOR

RIGOBERTO ALMAGUER NAVA

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Wendy Lopez, Laura Gomez, Ana Paula Treviño, Eduardo Guerrero

CLIENT

Instituto Religioso Fuego Nuevo

PHOTOGRAPHER

JORGE TABOADA / IDEA CUBICA

OBJECTIVE

The temple is located on a lot of approximately 3,200 m2. The lot has an irregular shape and its northern part is connected with the ecclesiastical house. It has a slight unevenness to the south and its largest front faces an avenue that is connected to most of the housing developments in the area. The project has 1,265 m2 of construction on three levels. A semi-basement that has a multipurpose room, an inter-axis of services and vertical circulations, and the most intimate space of the church where the ossuaries are located. The latter is a space where natural light does not enter. It was designed as a space where users could have a moment with their most loved ones who are no longer with us. The ground floor level is the space of the main nave with a capacity for approximately 360 parishioners, this space is reached from the north by means of a ramp that runs through a large part of the facade that faces the street and defines the basement of the temple, it also functions as a walkway that shows the rhythm of the facade until one reaches the main esplanade. Here, an evergreen oak was planted that was donated by the community. It can be accessed from the street by the main staircase that surrounds the oak and is embraced by the volume that protrudes from the basement and the oak planter. The main access is on this esplanade, it has a completely closed facade with the framed main access door.

CONTEXT

The Fuego Nuevo chapel is conceived as a space where natural light is an essential part of the architecture. The structure works as a unity of the columns, walls, beams and slabs. They remain as bare and heavy elements and are constantly repeated generating a rhythm of solids and voids that allow natural light to play its role as a protagonist. We were commissioned to develop a project for a church with very specific needs for the congregation lead by the priests. When the project was presented to the community it was very well received. Many of the church's resources have come from donations from parishioners and some foundations, so we also aimed to work with low-maintenance materials that could age with dignity.

PERFORMANCE

The essence of the church is based on the materialization of its volumes worked from the use of materials that are an important part of the industrial history of the city: concrete, steel and glass and culminates with one of the most important elements in the central part: the altar table, which is formed by a solid block of Monterrey black marble extracted from a local quarry.
The community has been an important part throughout the design process, in addition to the fact that most of the resources have been donated by themselves, this process of collective participation has made them appropriate the design and make it their own, which is important for the architectural piece to be part of its users.
The church stands imposingly on the ground, respectfully contemplating its immediate context and is already part of the new urban landscape of the place, the language of the building is honest with its exposed structure, always with the intention that the building age gracefully and transcend as an important part of the city.