The Church; to design and construct a space is one of the architect´s main targets. To create a spiritual space, mystic, is the greatest challenge. We aim various objectives. Indeed the creation of a spiritual space, to be closer to God, to meditate, to withdraw and where the mass liturgy can be done properly, is the foremost. Because of that, a great space, clear, open, free, well lightened, filled with a mysterious medieval light will be done. The crown of vertical windows and the huge textured pillars will create a spiritual and religious atmosphere.
In the other hand we wish to create a flexible space, multiple, where different events of different kind and intensity can be held; great masses, reduced masses, baptism, funeral or many other events or celebrations. Flexibility is basic, a key. The space allows many different configurations; axial, central, radial, spreading or spiral organization can be established. Also many different areas can be shaped independently, corners, negatives spaces can be used for meeting, sing or chat. (We call negative spaces to those contrary spaces created from a basic form, what we can call voiding of material. We also think about the inner space, the void; we search for the other side. We are definitely into this kind of negative spaces.) We can also find many edges to be alone, to meditate or pray. The grouping may be done with fixed benches or via single chairs. Each parishioner can hold a stacked chair and then go and seat wherever he wants; in the center, at the corner, feeling alone or mixed with the crowd. Because of this the parishioners will configure and colonize the Church in different forms, naturally and freely. This idea, to auto-colonize the sacred space, is essential in our proposal. This is the way we understand the Church space.
Another aim for us is to create a broad image for the church. A Church is a welcoming space, is a site, a place open for all. We repeat, for all people and faiths. This is why we want to find the image of the church without the obvious Christian symbols of the Tower or the Cross. Nowadays (and always) ideas or beliefs are imposed to the others, exhibiting symbols or icons. We want to keep the beliefs inside the sacred box. The symbols (crosses, images, etc.) are inside. The general image will remind a sacred site, but full of meanings, without big crosses or towers, and we feel we did. The building does not impose; receives.
We also handle most of the features of traditional churches; sometimes the design process uses these elements in the regular manner, sometimes not. Great façades, stair, parvis, atrium, central and lateral bays, crypt, garden, altarpiece, galleries, organ or choir, are in the project.
The program of requirements is divided in three parts. On the ground floor the functional areas, the exhibition rooms, de 400m sq. multipurpose room, the cafeteria and the extension to the water. To the south, facing the new city, the “functional building”: offices, meeting rooms, dinning rooms, kitchen, etc., shape this freestanding building. The main volume is the Church. Inside the church there are idle areas to meet or to pray or meditate, also we find the choir, rehearsal room, organ, priest rooms, pulpit, etc.
Water is a subject in the project. Water means life, means purity, means ablution; the baptism, the beginning, means water. Water is the site. The whole is surrounded by water and the building opens to the water by means of some stairs and a quay, mixing the building with the water.
The image of the building is clear, strong. A volume over the water. The exterior coated with rough brick, evokes the industrial past of the site, and, together with the vertical openings, a temple.
The construction is basic, easy and simple. Concrete is the structural basis, for walls and slabs. Brick is the coating and used as lost formwork. The concrete slab is supported by the great pillars or towers, which construct the cantilevered structures. The building will be extra isolated and will take advantage of the water temperature (hydrothermal energy system) for low cost heating. The roof garden is made different green islands into a kind of isolated pool.