Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church - Rosenberg, Texas
Turner Duran Architects, LP
Posted: August 24, 2023 | Projects
When Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Rosenberg, Texas, embarked on its effort to create a new house of worship, it directed Turner Duran Architects to achieve a few vital features.
Photograph courtesy of G. Lyon Photography, Inc.
First, the architecture must be a fitting expression of honor for the“Empress of the Americas,” the namesake for the parish. In order to accomplish this, the architects chose to base the design on a Spanish Colonial concept, a design with which the people of the parish would be familiar and comfortable. This use of an historic theme follows in the tradition of American Christian architecture by which English “Georgian” Colonial, Central European Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and other design expressions would accompany newcomers to America and help them follow their faith in a familiar environment.
At Our Lady of Guadalupe, white stucco walls, tile and metal red roofing, walls and windows with Spanish baroque decorative motifs in relief, and stone arches creating a covered loggia linking to exterior spaces, all converge to produce an architectural composition of timelessness and cultural appropriateness.
Second, a plaza for gathering and celebrations is essential. In Mexico, towns and villages are centered around a church and square in which community activities occur. This same sort of public space is integral here for the congregation to conduct the broad range of fellowship and devotional activities which flow from worship. The expansive plaza is focused on the main entry to the worship space, and is also bounded by other church facilities that feed directly into the space. All of the elements drawn from the Spanish baroque architectural heritage are incorporated into the design, including: hardscape ground surface, landscape providing shade and color, and flowing water. Thus, the concept connects to the Mexican immigrant community and back to the birthplace of Spanish architecture on the Iberian Peninsula.
Third, the worship space must be visually expressive of the Mexican-American culture of the congregation. Not only would the design need to draw upon the historical themes mentioned above, it would need to use materials and colors that are at home in a North American context and that introduce visual energy into the space. This was achieved by means of the shrine incorporated near the altar table and the “sunburst” of gold leaf on the backdrop wall. It was also accomplished with a stunning, soaring dome that gives this relatively modestly-sized church of 650 seats a cathedral-like presence. Native timber structural framing and stone flooring complete the assemblage.
The result is a design of visual power and feeling that belies the modest size of the overall structure. By drawing upon a few historic and cultural connections desired by the client, a design was devised that not only achieved the particular goals set forth by the client, but ended up reaching well beyond the specifics of its location to communicate the pride and Christian devotion of its congregation.
Turner Duran Architects, LP
333 Cypress Run, #350
Houston, TX 77094
Pinnacle Structure Engineers
3120 Southwest Freeway, #410, Houston, TX 77098
G&H Air Conditioning & Heating
11706 S. Garden Street, Houston, TX 77071
P.O. Box 40279, Houston, TX 77240
1335 W. Gray Street, #300, Houston, TX 77019
Date Bid: Feb 2014
Construction Period: Mar 2014 to Mar 2015
Total Square Feet: 12,910
Site: 2.15 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 12,910; total, 12,910 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 56’; total, 56’.
Basic Construction Type: New/V5.
Foundation: Pier & grade beam.
Exterior Walls: Stucco.
Roof: Simulated clay tile metal.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.