Cathedral of Santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago, located in the south central quadrant of Queretaro, emerges as a new project that responds to the city’s current conditions by adapting to it’s immediate surroundings and opening a dialogue between site and city through simple spaces.
The initiative was developed for a competition by invitation hosted in the city of Queretaro, Mexico.
The project rises from an irregular-shaped site with a steep slope, the program responds to a volume that originates from sectioning the site’s maximum volume with a plane that runs parallel to the topography so it can maintain the same height along the whole perimeter except for the bell tower that is intended to stand out as an instant landmark.
The atrium’s void, a precious element in an ever-growing city that continues to densifiy itself, can function as a direct extension of the nave and provides the project and the city with a new public space which adapts to the community's needs and activities.
The atrium is a central space that contrasts the void with the volume containing the program. This layout allows easy access and interconnection between the whole complex. The volume reflects the sacred nature of the building by subtly incorporating liturgical elements and religious iconography.
Geometrically, the nave responds to the site’s original condition, generating a flared space that acts naturally as an amplifier, when the pivoting doors open, the atrium transforms itself as a direct extension of the sacral space.
The project’s materiality transcends by reclaiming the importance of locally produced resources, stone, marble, and wood, integrating an elegant unornamented complex.
The main lobby connects the complementary program with the cathedral, harboring vertical communications that distribute the user within the whole project.
Defined by multiple areas, the cathedral’s complex is also conformed by a scholastic area with classrooms, an auditorium, a book shop, a cafeteria, a museum and private residences for nuns and priests.
The bell tower places a city viewpoint at the top which can be accessed by an indoor elevator, alongside the tower, multiple levels of cripts connect through an independent cript ward to a funeral chapel at the end, where private ceremonies can be held.