St. Thomas More Catholic Church / Renzo Zecchetto Architects

St. Thomas More Catholic Church / Renzo Zecchetto Architects

© Darren Bradley© Darren Bradley© Darren Bradley© Darren Bradley+ 23

Oceanside, United States
  • Client:Catholic Diocese of San Diego
  • Structural Engineer:Miyamoto International
  • Civil Engineer:Buccola Engineering
  • Mep Engineering:MA Engineers
  • Electrical Engineer:Kruse Associates
  • Contractor:T.B. Penick & Sons
  • Landscape Architect:Greg Hebert
  • Liturgical Consultant:Robert Habiger
  • Tapestry:John Nava
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© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

Text description provided by the architects. The church for 1,100 people is part of a three phase project for a Catholic parish in Oceanside, with which the firm has worked for over twenty years. Located on a hillside at the intersection of Melrose Road and Cannon Drive, the parish grounds also include a 4,000 square foot community hall, administrative offices, and surrounding garden courts.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The church is built on the highest elevation of the site, with a 60 foot bell tower lending visibility and definition from afar. The solid volumes flanking the bell tower oppose harsh Western sun with staggered walls and clerestories that filter light softly into the interior.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley
Site Plan
Site Plan
© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

Inside, the design of the sanctuary celebrates the congregation itself as the center of liturgy. Pews made of cherry wood from the Pacific Northwest are arranged in a semicircular layout to encourage interaction and visibility among parishioners. Overhead, cherry ceiling louvers envelope the congregation and choir, providing a sense of warmth and unity.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

At the altar, angled walls of cross-cut Chilean travertine and raw concrete deliver diffuse light onto the sanctuary’s focal point—the crucified corpus. The bronze sculpture was created by artist Lynn Kircher; the cross frame by Renzo Zecchetto Architects.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The building takes advantage of natural sea breezes for cooling. An underfloor plenum supplies conditioned air through the perforated supports of the pews.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The eastern elevation is defined by transparency and openness: the narthex is here reimagined as a curtain wall and overhang that welcomes parishoners directly from the courtyard and gardens.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The glazed courtyard doors further increase accessibility and visual connection to the rest of the campus and its outdoor spaces which, thanks to the temperate Southern California climate, provide year-round places for contemplation and repose.

© Taylor Hsiao
© Taylor Hsiao

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Project location

Address:Oceanside, CA, United States

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "St. Thomas More Catholic Church / Renzo Zecchetto Architects" 09 Nov 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/799055/st-thomas-more-catholic-church-renzo-zecchetto-architects> ISSN 0719-8884
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© Darren Bradley

St. Thomas More 天主教堂 / Renzo Zecchetto Architects

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