October 1, 2016
January 30, 2017
Archdiocese of Seville
Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary. Plaza de Andalucía, 17. Martín de la Jara (Seville)
Pablo M. Millán Millán
Juan Lola Construcciones
Javier Serrano Terrones (Technical architect)
To think of a space destined to house the Blessed Sacrament is to think of a very specific area within a temple, the Sancta Santorum, a place for the encounter with God. If we analyze how these spaces have been materialized throughout the history of architecture, we observe a radical importance of geometry and strong directionality. Under these premises, Diego de Siloé will draw a novel Renaissance plant for the cathedral of Granada with the sole purpose of being an imposing custody or later Leonardo de Figueroa will do the same with the baroque San Luis de los Franceses.
Every day, from east to west, with the brightness of a new morning, the Catholic Church repeats in its prayer of Lauds the song of the “Benedictus”. The movement of the earth means that, every hour, in some corner of the world, the night is giving way to clarity and this prayer springs up. It is the same one that, as the evangelist Luke tells us (Lk 1, 78), emerged as praise from the mouth of Zacarias, the father of John the Baptist, when he learned of the coming birth of his son, a fact that would change his life, canceling the debt that had left him speechless because of his lack of faith.
In this canticle, almost at the end, it is said “by the tender mercy of our God, the sun that comes from on high will visit us”. The Light, according to the theological experience of Zacarias, comes from above and is the daily proof of God’s goodness towards his people. Evidence of this truth has undoubtedly been the intention to make a space in which only an opening above shows daily to the parishioners of the chapel that God is with his people.
The construction of this small chapel starts from the need of the adjacent church to introduce light. Thus, the project arises from a single reflection, creating “a box for the Light”, with the double meaning of being a box that contains light for the rest of the temple and being a place that will contain the Light for every Christian: the Blessed Sacrament. Searching for light, possibly the most important task for every architect, has become latent in this project by making a container space that, by its orientation and zenith opening, is capable of introducing clarity throughout the church. Thus, the entire surface will be white and clean. Following this same criterion, the floor of the rest of the temple will be changed with the aim of a greater luminosity.
The search for an essential space, naked, without any element that could distort the radically important in a sacramental chapel, has led us to opt for a Franciscan architecture, sober, clean of forms and ornate. The precision sought in a space of these characteristics will be determined by a strict, radical geometry, without any option that could be a reason for dispersion. Thus, a concentrated space will be an illuminated and clean space, a space in which the Blessed Sacrament is the center, and in an almost theophanic way, light will be proof of this.