The Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church is not really well-known, not even in the illustrious Colonia San Rafael. It is, however recognized by the National Fine Arts Institute (INBAL) for its outstanding architectural design. That means it can’t really be changed or altered and it holds a significant place in the list of 20th-century religious architecture.
Architect, Carlos Lazo working with naval engineer, Miguel Rebolledo Rivadeneira began the “La Guadalupita” project in 1952. They later resigned the commission and passed it to Francisco J. Serrano and Álvarez de la Rosa. These two finished the project already in 1954. Serrano is probably remembered for the Edificio Basurto, in La Condesa and for the San Cayetano Church in Lindavista. He was working that project simultaneously with this one.
With no atrium out front, the work needed to make exceptional use fo the space.
Outside, the church is heavy and unmoving, composed of simple geometric forms. The façade features stained glass windows by the artist Víctor F. Marco. Four Venetian mosaics hover above the main entrance. Inside, a succession of curved walls and panels of glass blocks fill the interior with natural light. It’s a sight to behold. It’s also why the church is catalogued as part of the country’s National Heritage.
The San Rafael Guadalupe Church is practically within the San Rafael Theater district. And just a block below the Calzada México-Tacuba, it’s an important part of an important neighborhood.
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México