Fuego Nuevo Church – The main principle behind the design process about Fuego Nuevo chapel was to give light an important role as the main character of the space, therefore the way to understand how the building was conceived is through its sections, the structure functions as a whole, the columns, walls, beams and slabs are placed in a rhythm of solids and voids that allow natural light to play its role as a protagonist.
Architizer chatted with Rigoberto Almaguer Nava from WRKSHP Architecture+Urbanism to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Rigoberto Almaguer Nava: They already had another project ready to be built and we had to do just the renderings for that project, and in the process of modeling the main building, we began to develop another concept so we can present that to the church community, so our approach was to develop a building that could be built in a systematic way with a special module in concrete, and the main idea was developed working in section, understanding the orientation and the way how the sunlight could be the main character of the building, all the heavy elements that conforms the chapel are in constant play and that rhythm changes at the end of the building where the entrance is, there are a lot of symbolism on the main concept also.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
How the light changes the way you can experience the different spaces that conform the building.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
Working with so many different disciplines but the most challenging one was the structural analysis, we had so many NO’s in the whole process, but we always came up with solutions to find the best way to achieve the tectonic character that represents the architecture of the building.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
We worked in so many ways with the community, they played an important role on the development of this building, and this building is now a very important part of them, most of the resources came from donations so making a very efficient building was a big compromise for us.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
Monterrey is an industrial city and most of the materials, like concrete, steel and glass were produced by the most important producers of each discipline and this is part of the historic legacy of the city. we also used a special marble that is local and it’s called Negro Monterrey, it was used on the altar table and some of the altar elements.
What is your favorite detail in the project and why?
How the natural light blends in the space and transforms it throughout the whole day.
Credits / Team Members
Ana Paula Treviño, Reynaldo Castillo, Laura Alicia Gomez, Wendy Lopez, Eduardo Guerrero
Consultants: Structural Analysis – Eng Joaquin Sanchez, Lighting – Grupo Lite, Construction- Eng. Reynaldo Castillo
Products / Materials
Cemex Concrete, Travertine Marble, Magg Lighting, Ventor Lighting, Delta Lighting,
For more on Fuego Nuevo Church, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.