Excerpt: Capilla Fuego Nuevo, designed by WRKSHP arquitectura – urbanismo, is a chapel conceived as a space where natural light is an essential part of the architecture and the structure works as a whole. The materials that make up the church’s finish palette have a special meaning in shaping the general concept since most are part of Nuevo León’s industrial and production legacy. The designers were commissioned to develop a project for a church with very specific needs for the congregation in the hands of the parents.
[Text as submitted by architect] The New Fire Chapel is conceived as a space where natural light is an essential part of the architecture and the structure works as a whole: the columns, walls, beams, and slabs remain as apparent, heavy elements and are constantly repeated generating a rhythm of solids and voids that allow natural light to play its role and take center stage. We were commissioned to develop a project for a church with very specific needs for the congregation in the hands of the parents and we also presented the project to the community and it was very well received, many of the church’s resources have been from donations from parishioners and some foundations, so we also seek to work with low-maintenance materials that could age with dignity.
The temple is located on an area of approximately 3,200 m2, said land has an irregular shape and connects in the northern part with the ecclesiastical house, it also has a slight unevenness to the south and its largest front faces an avenue that connects most of housing developments in the area. The project has 1,265 m2 of construction on 3 levels: A semi-basement that has a multipurpose room, an inter-axis services and vertical circulations, and the most intimate space of the church where the ossuaries are located, the latter is a space where natural light does not enter and it was considered as a space so that users could have a moment with their most loved ones who are no longer on the earthly plane.
The ground floor level is the space of the main nave with a capacity for approximately 360 parishioners, this space is reached from the north by means of a ramp that runs through a large part of the facade that faces the street and defines the basement of the temple, it also functions as a walkway that shows you the rhythm of the façade until reaching the main esplanade, where an evergreen oak was planted that was donated by the community, from the street it can be accessed by the main staircase that surrounds the oak and is embraced by the volume that protrudes from the basement and the oak planter. On this esplanade is the main access, it has a completely closed façade and a projection that frames the main access door stands out.
Once it is accessed, a low height is maintained that comes from the exterior overhang and extends to the edge of the mezzanine (where the choir is located). On the facade this forms a cross in a very subtle way, passing the mezzanine, the space In double height with the chiaroscuro the visual dominates and in the background is the presbytery and altar, formed by two blocks of black Monterrey marble that were worked to function as the altar table and the ambo. The altarpiece in the background, as well as the furniture and carpentry were designed in conjunction with Alfredo Zertuche, who also built these, they were worked in the same way with black Monterrey marble and walnut.
The materials that make up the church’s finish palette have a special meaning in shaping the general concept, since most of them are part of Nuevo León’s industrial and production legacy. the concrete that is the solid base of the building, the glass that allows natural light to function as part of the architecture, the natural wood, the travertine marble in all the floors, selected from Puebla, from the same lot, and the blocks of black Monterrey marble, which were extracted and selected from the quarry located on the Cerro del Topo Chico, in San Nicolas.