Photos: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
The La Lupita Chapel is the Church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. In the Colonia Ajusco, it’s one of the final works of architect Alberto González Pozo. He came to dominate church-building in this corner of Mexico City and Coyoacán after the mid-20th century.
Although La Lupita is probably not considered his finest work, by the time he began work on it, the architect’s reputation had been sealed with works like:
By the time González Pozo got here to Ajusco, he’d only just finished the 18-year project of San Antonio de Padua in Xotepingo (1963-81). One would be forgiven for thinking he’d spent most of the 20 years since he’d finished work on the Seguros Monterrey (1960-62) in the southeast of Coyoacán.
The La Lupita Chapel is radically a-symmetric. It’s probably best-loved for the oversized, didactic stained-glass windows. The fenced in atrium also serves as something of plaza and playground, at least for parishioners.
But the church here is best understood as a centerpiece to the Ajusco neighborhood that claims no fewer than 40 shrines and altars to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Many of them are much older than the church itself. A few steps into the neighborhood, and one can see that the uneven terrain makes for rather inviting shrine territory. Part of the great Pedregal region of the south, the volcanic rock is still evident everywhere.