Spanish-Kuwaiti firm AGi architects designed the church for an area built in the last 15 years on the outskirts of the city, which required a new church as well as a place for community activities.
The different planes that form the roof feature apertures that allow light to reach the interior and help to distinguish the various interior spaces, which perform different liturgical functions. "One of these folds steeps up to become the bell tower, though no bells have been installed due to the economic situation," the architects told Dezeen.
"The shape of the building relates to its context through the idea of unfolding a cover that creates a place for meeting and fraternisation, in contrast with the rigid look of the dwelling buildings where the individualised everyday life takes place," the architects said.
The church adjoins a large courtyard that connects it to the existing facilities of a community parish centre, and its industrial aesthetic reflects the contemporary nature of its surroundings.
The stone-tiled courtyard that provides a meeting space for community activities extends into the building's interior and a series of doors can be opened to unite the two spaces.
The architects described the tiled floor as "a stone carpet that is unfolded to enter the main space of the church in an arrangement that facilitates the participation of the entire assembly in the liturgy."
Two smaller courtyards connected to the spaces containing the baptismal font, the penitential chapel and sacristy are used to host activities including markets, cinema screenings, religious teaching classes and as a place for contemplation.
Budgetary restraints led the architects to specify simple, economical materials, including the corrugated steel sheet covering the roof, false ceilings and partitions made of gypsum board, and concrete blocks used for the outer shell.
"White plaster finish links with more traditional architectures while the sheet of the roof is a technical solution that makes a reference to present, the period in which this urban development was carried out," the architects added.
Structural girders form a cross at the church's entrance, which has "an open shape that recalls traditional religious architecture".
The angular aesthetic of the walls and roof is echoed in the shape of the wood and stone pulpit.
Photography is by Miguel de Guzmán.
Here are some more details from AGi architects:
La Ascensión del Señor Church
This building proposed by AGi architects means the completion of the Parish Center and its empowerment as focus of community activity for the neighborhood. The project aims at strengthening the Parish Center as a meeting and fraternization place, in order to develop spiritual and welfare tasks. It has been designed by economical savings and sustainability premises, simple construction techniques and materials, while endowing the district with an image and sign of identity.
The spatial scheme of the building is structured through three different qualifying voids: the large central courtyard that belongs to the first phase of the Parish Center, which now articulates the relationships between worship spaces and the rest of facilities. Its stone surface is prolonged inwards to enter the main space of the church and, bending towards the walls, creates a huge vessel that houses the congregation of believers. There are other two smaller scale courtyards, one of them linked to the area of the baptismal font, the other to the penitential chapel and sacristy.
Due to security reasons, the nature of shelter and interaction inherent to the project are only revealed to the outside in the main entrance that plays a relevant role as an open attraction space to welcome and invite users inside.
The shape of the roof, which unfolds freely to cover the assembly space by joining various inclined planes, allows the introduction of natural light inside, to achieve a clear qualification of the different areas needed to comply with liturgy requirements.
According to AGi architects’ team, "this church is very close to the community, reaching the transcendental through the existing social problems and needs. Our goal has been to open the space for community use, making it more human".
Project Name: La Ascensión del Señor Church
Type: Religious | 1,150 sqm | Competition – First prize
Location: Seville, Spain
Client: Archdiocese of Seville
Nasser B. Abulhasan
Singe K, Ingenieros Consultores, S.L
Javier Drake Canela