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The Church of San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer has been one of the most talked about Modernist churches in Mexico City since it was finished in 2008. Built over a grassy slopes, it rests on a stone foundation, and those may be the only conventional things about it. It continues to be the subject of discussion among architects and designers.
The church stands never the Avenida Vasco de Quiroga. It’s one of the arterial streets through Santa Fe. The project was a collaborative work by architects, Javier Sordo Madaleno, Jorge Isaías Guerrero, and Jaime Krasowsky with Marco Hernández R. and Mario Rogero Jiménez providing structural engineering. Sordo had famously completed the San Ignacio de Loyola church in Polanco in 1961.
The complex consists of three structures: a temple, and two residential buildings. The design is said to be a repetition of seven golden rectangles combined with two curves. It’s a Christian reference to the fish symbol.
The temple is 25 meters high on the outside, and the interior reaches some 17 meters. The capacity is for 400 congregants. Perhaps the most distinctive feature is the roof. It’s a mere strip of glass between the giant slabs of the two curvilinear lateral walls.
The entire complex conforms to a thorough and thoughtful masterplan. In no small measure, the church was designed to fit over a former landfill with no capacity for load-bearing. The temple rests on solid granite foundations. Exterior walls are covered with zinc plates and the inside is clad in paneling of maple.
It’s a remarkable and inviting for the religious and for their secular friends. An exercise in careful articulation, it’s also the focal point for anyone passing by.
Sources cited on this page:
Iglesia San Josemaría Escrivá