Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
The Church of Divine Providence, is the Parroquia de Divina Providencia in the historic Colonia Ciudad Jardín in Coyoacán. The church came to be just about 20 years after the neighborhood. The streets were laid out in 1948 especially as a housing project for workers in the nearby waterworks. The neighborhood is today known mostly for the light rail station that bears its name, but the church is a strong example of mid-century modernism in religious architecture.
The church was built between 1967 and 1969. The principle architect was Antonio Francisco Torres Zapién. He worked with his brother, architect Carlos Guillermo, and his father, and engineer-architect from the School of Engineering and Architecture at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (National Polytechnic Institute). The architect Juan Antonio Tonda contributed structural design and oversaw construction.
The design shows the influence of Enrique de la Mora who’d already worked with Félix Candela on the San Antonio Huertas church. The temple here is set atop a single orthogonal nave. But covered by the soaring hyperbolic paraboloids, the interior is a reflective and highly modern space. The paraboloids rise from concrete bases at the ground level. They leave enough space for arch-shaped stained-glass windows. These were completed by the artist Eugenia Álvarez in 1969.
The Divina Providencia church is right next to the Mercado Xotepingo. It’s a good reminder that the entire territory was once part of the famous old ranch. It was one of many that bordered the ancient Xochimilco Lake in southeastern Mexico City.
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México