Mary Immaculate Parish Hall / Equipo Olivares Arquitecto

© José Oller

Architects: Equipo Olivares Arquitectos
Location: Santa Cruz of Tenerife,
Design Team: Javier Pérez-Alcalde Schwartz, Fernando Aguarta García
Rigger: José Floreal Martínez
Photographs: José Oller

The idea consisted to build the Parish Hall as a future underground Temple. So the building is constructed based on several aspects:

© José Oller

The very nature of a building intended for worship, raised the need to get spaces for contemplation and meditation. For this, the Parish Hall turns to the interior gardens, isolated from the outside by cyclopean concrete walls and reinforced concrete. The closings are understood as light screens.

© José Oller

We understood the Parish Hall as a shell enclosing a large interior space. And so, the outside is hard and tough while the interior is bright (the presence of daylight), aromatic (an orange garden), mystery (the staircase behind the white walls) and pragmatic (clearly arranged spaces).

© José Oller

The parish hall is accessed via a patio and behind it you can access a gallery. At the back, you can find another patio that is filled with climbing plants and offers a green background to the multiple rooms.

© José Oller

We understood the Parish Hall as a flexible surface adaptable for different uses. A fixed block at the entrance (lined with timber) contains the pastor’s office, toilets and service area. Walls separate the rest of the place.

© José Oller

We understood the Parish Hall from materials that could be adapted over time. The concrete will have to endure winters, the orange trees will provide color, the walls will be like stained glass toward the street, and the wood will contribute with its warmth.

Floor Plan

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Mary Immaculate Parish Hall / Equipo Olivares Arquitecto" 25 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Coco

    Love the light treatment!

  • Nathan

    The interior spaces are lovely, but the typographic installation above the entrance is awful. Architects should stop trying to do those kind of things themselves and draft in someone who knows what they’re doing (such as a typographer or graphic designer).