Martha Catholic Church|
903 Spring Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Date Bid: May 2008 Construction Period: Dec 2009 to Oct 2011
Total Square Feet: 46,748 Site: 35 acres.
Number of Buildings: Two: Sanctuary, Administration Building.
Building Size: Sanctuary, 40,338; Administration Building, 6,410;
Building Height: Sanctuary, first floor 62’10”, Cupola/top of
ridge, 85’; Bell Tower/top of tower, 81’; Administration Building,
Bell Tower/top of tower, 40’.
Basic Construction Type: IV-HT Sanctuary; II-B Administrative
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: Brick. Roof: Asphalt shingles, metal,
membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud
Structural Engineer: Pinnacle Structural Engineers - 5516 Chaucer
Drive, Houston, TX 77005
General Contractor: JE Dunn Construction - 10350 Richmond Avenue,
#900, Houston, TX 77042
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Advanced Technologies, Inc. -
13105 Northwest Freeway, #690, Houston, TX 77040
Civil Engineer: Landtech Consultants, Inc. - 2525 N. Loop W.,
#300, Houston, TX 77008
St. Martha's Catholic Church is a 40,000 square foot church on 35 wooded
acres in a fast-growing area outside of Houston, Texas. Responding to
the parish's desire for a "church that looks like a church", TurnerDuran
Architects knew the need could be answered in traditional terms. But the
resulting building also had to meet the requirements of contemporary
Roman Catholic liturgy which, in the past 25 years, have given rise to a
variety of new expressions.
In order to look like a church, the building is cruciform in plan and
its arched windows on the whole are proportional to the building size.
Its pitched roof is broad, and inside a critical relationship is
maintained between the width of the nave and transepts and the
spring-point of the dome.
Natural light enters the church from four sides, and the seating is
organized in rows facing the altar and side aisles to facilitate access.
The placement of the altar has been designed to promote a sense of
community within the church and to allow the congregation a greater
feeling of involvement during liturgies.
To conform to the contemporary liturgical practice the altar is placed
in the crossing underneath the dome with worshippers arranged on three
sides. On the fourth side stands a small adoration Chapel. It is a
building within a building and its facade, oriented with a 16 foot wide
rose window, provides a backdrop for the main altar.
The floor is paved with stone. This along with simple glue-laminated
wood trusses is meant by the architect as a reminder of fondly
remembered centuries old church buildings. The stone floors and
acoustically treated wood panel walls create a reverberant space ideal
for organ music and for singing, yet the space is absorbent enough to
clearly hear the articulated spoken word.
The church's location on the site respects the residential scale and
character of its immediate neighborhood while, at the same time,
resolving the complex circulation requirements of building entry and
The building is clustered around a wide and open plaza in order to
maximize views and make a statement to the community. The building is
linked by a covered ambulatory recalling the monasteries of Europe. A
bell tower marks the church as one approaches from a distance.
Building Envelope: Arriscraft, Hebron Brick
Interior: Clark Western, Armstrong, Lock-Deck(R) Laminated
Decking, Unit Structures
Roofing: Firestone, Berridge Manufacturing, GAF, Sigma Marble &
Flooring: Cambridge, Roppe
Windows: Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions, Pilkington
Entrances & Storefronts: Haley Architectural Door, Versatrac
Interior: Decoustics Flooring: Arizona Tile