THE NEW ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PARISH
CREATING AN ICON THROUGH EXPRESSION
LOCATION QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES
SPAP 2017 - GRAND WINNER
Primarily as a place of worship, the church, as in the Philippine context, is considered to be more than this singular purpose. It is a sanctuary; a temple for liturgy; the house of the
THE NEW ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PARISH aims to serve these representations – in addition to its aspiration to act as an icon for the community and its parishioners. By tracing intermediate connections to its context, a triangular shaped plane was superimposed on the site. Inspired by the Axis Mundi, the overlaid plane was then peeled off the ground plane to create an architectural expression dictated by contextual sensitivity. This simplistic gesture of peeling created an immediate icon representative of its context – an architecture derived from understanding “sense of place” to serve the people. Through a series of careful manipulations on the program massing, spatial relationships and definitions were addressed efficiently. The Ad Orientem expression dictated the internal organization of the spaces – wherein the nave and sanctuary were oriented on an east-west axis.
Acting like a veil, the peeled ground plane was draped over the articulated building mass – bringing the building
Fixed and operable louver partitions were introduced for shading and access. Made from wood, the ground level pivot doors open and close according to building use – providing flexibility and spatial continuity for the parishioners. Landscape elements were strategically incorporated
Through careful interventions in form guided by contextual and liturgical principles, the new parish maintains an aesthetic of elegance, simplicity, and symbolic importance. The decision to use these basic materials allowed the design to explore abstract design sensibilities without deviating from what the building had been intended for – for the people, through the lord. As the flowing roof of the new parish levitates from the ground, it created a new language that reminds of the divine. Through its singular upward gesture of worship, it became a beacon, a symbol.