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Cristo Rey y Santa Mónica Church is the Church of Christ the King and Saint Monica in the Anzures Neighborhood. It chiefly here because it’s the only religious architecture ever worked on by architect Mario Pani. His vision is so predominant in Mexico City, especially in residential architecture, as to make the church something of anomaly. “What would a church by Mario Pani look like?”
The church was commissioned by the Augustinians in 1942 and construction was completed by builder, Ciro Gutiérrez Pichardo, an architect and engineer in 1947. The sawtooth roof of reinforced concrete floods the interior with light. Historian Ivan San Martín noted that such roofs were seen only on industrial buildings in the 1940s.
The project originally envisions a small side garden, in lieu of an atrium. The side garden was later lost to the church’s expansion, but the façade makes up for it with a relief of the Last Supper. This was completed by Chihuahua-sculptor, Armando Quezada Medrano.
This is just beneath the monumental lattice in pre-cast concrete. An original drawing included a giant sculptural group of Faith, Hope and Charity some thirty meters high. This was never completed.
Inside, the rectangular nave reaches a staggering height. The altar faces northwest and a follows no traditional plan. The enormous crucifix is by Jalisco artist, Brígido Clemente Ibarra González.
Sources cited on this page:
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad,
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México