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  St. Martha Catholic ChurchSt. Martha Catholic Church


TEG Architects
903 Spring Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47130

General Description

Porter, Texas
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; total, 46,748.
Building Height: Sanctuary, first floor 62’10”, Cupola/top of ridge, 85’; Bell Tower/top of tower, 81’; Administration Building, 28’8”;
Bell Tower/top of tower, 40’.
Basic Construction Type: IV-HT Sanctuary; II-B Administrative Building/New.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: Brick. Roof: Asphalt shingles, metal, membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

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 liturgical procession.

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.

Product Information
Building Envelope: Arriscraft, Hebron Brick
Interior: Clark Western, Armstrong, Lock-Deck(R) Laminated Decking, Unit Structures
Roofing: Firestone, Berridge Manufacturing, GAF, Sigma Marble & Granite
Flooring: Cambridge, Roppe
Windows: Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions, Pilkington
Entrances & Storefronts: Haley Architectural Door, Versatrac Interior Frames
Interior: Decoustics Flooring: Arizona Tile

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