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San Ignacio de Loyola, Polanco

san ignacio loyola polanco
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


The San Ignacio de Loyola Church in Polanco is a startling modernist Jesuit temple. It’s just a block outside the main Palacio de Hierro and not always entirely visible due to Polanco’s abundant trees. But have a look.

The church has a tiny atrium to the east. It’s an entirely triangular structure. The steep metal gables of the roof emerge from the floor. These are supported by a few prefabricated concrete panels and covered with handmade ceramics on the outside. But the stained glass from the inside is why people go and stay. The church was a 1961 project of architect, Juan Sordo.

  • Juan Sordo Madaleno (1916-1985) began his practice in 1937. He’s probably best remembered today for work he did with José Villagrán García on the Sheraton María Isabel Hotel (1961). It’s the hotel right next to the US Embassy on Paseo de la Reforma. The giant Palacio de Justicia in the San Lázaro area is also among his most monumental of Mexico City works. In these pages, he’s probably best known for the work he did on the 2008 (equally startling) Church of San Josemaría Escrivá in Santa Fe.
  • The church is also often recognized for the figure of Christ by the Guadalajara artist and architect, Claudio Favier Orendain (1931-2008). Prolific in philosophy and letters, Favier also studied theology and fine arts. His  collaboration on the planning of the Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl led to the later recognition of an UNESCO World Heritage Site. A studio-workshop nearby in Morelos let him specialized in adobe architecture but he died in 2008 working as a sculptor in Spain.



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