estudio ji architects
Villalbilla Parish Center. Alcalá de Henares, Madrid
architects: jorge frías/irene zurdo
typology: religious
class: ideas competition
date: 09/2008
client/sponsor: Hercesa
photos / images: estudioji

The idea of the project is to create a gathering place in which the sum of sensations coexist and symbolism of a church. We therefore propose a piece-lattice "save" all these elements. The most important is the cross, which is placed in a garden specifically for her, to which converge all project efforts. The main hall, with a capacity of more than 500 people converged on a large window that frames the focal form of a cross surrounded by a garden of prunos. These converging lines are guidelines that will form the rest of the program generation, which basically consists of two buildings, one more public with classrooms and chapel, and other for private use where the different units priesthood. Another large garden facing the Cross meet all the faithful before the entrance to any public agency.
The translucent, almost ethereal image of the building is provided by the material from which the lattice box is constructed: polyester pieces, which interlock to prevent any ridge boosting the image of mystery that is sought.


A LATTICE TRANSLUCENT covers, protects and provides for outdoor spaces symbolism of the Church. These pieces totally unrelated to the structural system of the building are folded converging towards the main hall safeguarding both the Cross as he smaller pieces that form in the Parish Center. Transparent rooms are generated leaking skyward and creating a monumental atmosphere and recollection.
The building offers a clear image box from abroad thanks to its own rhythm and polyester material, that suggests the remaining volumes that make up the space.


CROSS is located abroad, beyond the plane of glass that limits the apse, behind the altar, in the backlight of the Southeast and a critical distance to the place of prayer extends to the garden of the cross, thereby making it forms part of the Chapel. What really does occur is unity between the two spaces, now transmuted into place for ritual and contemplation.
All the main space of the chapel seems converge toward the site of the ceremony, but really pierces and extends into the garden of the cross, so the lack of separation between inside and outside means the same if we understand it in the higher dimension of being human.




Materials Chapel prevent us any distractions in their capacity to be almost absent: the altar, baptistery, are drawn as silhouettes, with lines that materialize.
The large central window, filtered through the trees in the garden of the cross, can’t see the sky, but illuminates the earth and the garden toward the chapel looks, transformed by the cross in spiritual territory.
The view of the altar brings inward nature in the way that the brand each season.
The space itself radiates peace concentrated, condensed union between man and nature, the individual and the universe.
The cross, which is made in white painted rolled acquires a luminous presence and light, almost ethereal, highlighted with the chiaroscuro of trees and almost melted into the landscape.
We locate the cross at the lowest level on the floor of the little chapel, linked to space down to earth, setting the inclination of its cover. This produces an imbalance from the inside between the height of the vertical axis and the width of his arms, and the feeling that the cross is floating, which helps give the symbol of a subtle quality.

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