The Marian Church by CAZA creates a place of worship that is closely connected to nature. The design weaves the Church into the surrounding environment, incorporating the topography and climate of the location into the experience of occupying this sacred space.
The existing slopes flanking the Church are utilized to create a natural amphitheater where people can sit and listen to mass. This open-air amphitheater faces the interior garden, connecting the adoration chapel, sacristy and priest quarters with the main congregational hall.
The Church harnesses the thermal mass of the gardens and maximizes the prevailing winds, resulting in a church that is passively cooled with no need for artificial air conditioning. The placement of the gardens vis-à-vis the slope establishes a terracing system that retains storm water and prevents on-site flooding.
The dramatic vaults of the congregational hall connect the Marian Church with the long history of sacred architecture during the Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance periods. Natural light enters the church through the clerestories between each vault in a judicious and delicate manner, accentuating the relationship between the altar and parishioner.
People enter the Church from multiple points and flow gently throughout the Church’s grounds, creating their own spiritual journey as they arrive to the congregational hall. Source and images, Courtesy of CAZA.
Article by Marco Rinaldi