The project proposal for the new Santa Maria Parish Center in Bonavista offers a specific solution to the needs of the program and the liturgy. By focusing on the two premises recurrent throughout the history of the Catholic Church, monumentality and mystery, the design becomes a singular and transcendent space. Designed by Gimeno Guitart Architects, they believe the church, as a collective and community space, must be vindicated as a social and urban event as well as a place for prayer and retreat. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The proposed complex splits the program into two well-differentiated elements. On the one hand the parish center and the rectory and on the other hand the church itself. The goal is to present a corner scheme so as to contain the urban fabric and provide a neutral background to frame the volume of the church. The autonomy provided by such segregation of uses and volumes and their subsequent strategic location allows for a detached building for the church that is singular and abstract at the same time, thus stressing the poetic matters of its architecture.
The parish center building is proposed as a superposition of facilities in three levels that generates spaces opening to the court. This open space solves functional issues and establishes connections with the existing urban context. The church building stands out with a strong spiritual character and relates to the transcendent. The church arises as a great multi-storey volume where down lighting stresses the space vertically inside and transmits a sense for weightlessness and a deep spirituality.