The Chapel of Guadalupe is a spectacular modernist church and an influential architectural project. It is easily the masterpiece of its neighborhood, El Rosedal, in Coyoacán. The church is located within the Rose Garden. The Rose Garden stretches several blocks on either side of the church, encompassing the entire neighborhood. Although it is not a huge park, it contributes to make this overwhelming residential area much more welcoming.
The chapel is undoubtedly the most famous work of architect Alberto Gonzalez Pozo. Pozo was one of Enrique de la Mora, first collaborators, and even had his first office in the emblematic Seguros Monterrey building He later worked for many years at the Faculty of Architecture of the UNAM.
Here, between 1961 and 1983, Pozo worked with architects Leonardo Vilchis Platas and Juan Antonio Tonda Magallón. The resulting chapel is a single orthogonal nave under an iconic triangular roof. The team relied on Félix Candela to calculate the specifications for six concrete umbrellas, up to four centimeters thick. And these helped support not only the roof, but the church’s place in 20th century history.
The church is known for the delicate woodwork of the altarpiece. But even more famous are the enormous stained glass windows on the façade. The artist José Reyes Meza completed this work and became a regular collaborator of González Pozo.
The neighborhood is also distinguished by a much-appreciated monument to Vicente Guerrero, on Miguel Angel de Quevedo Avenue. The Chapel of Guadalupe and its extensive rose garden are the highlight of many walks through the neighborhood.
All photos this page: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México