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The Templo de la Divina Providencia has been nicknamed el Pañuelito, “the little hanky,” since the project’s completion in 1967. It’s a collaborative work between architects Enrique De La Mora and Félix Candela. De La Mora and Candela created highly influential works using the distinct hyperbolic-paraboloid roofs. These are evident here and give the church the unique futuristic or otherworldly appearance. The stained glass windows are by Zita Basich Leija.
This same trio would just a few years later complete the even more dramatic Santa Cruz de la Aviación church in San Luis Potosi. Basich went on to design windows for the Church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Madrid. She may be best remembered for her 1987 book, a guide to reading and using the Florentine Codex, still in print from INAH today.
The church here is a heptagonal polygon. The sides are not of equal lengths, though. The shortest side supports the presbytery and the north-east oriented altar. The church is often noted for the centralized altar. This was designed in response to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) to direct the attention of those assembled to the sacrificial act.
The roof is made of three hyperbolic paraboloid mantles covering the entire interior. These are supported by two large frontal gussets, a structural solution mastered by De La Mora Palomar and Candela.