The Holy Redeemer Church and Community Centre
Architect: Fernando Menis
Location: Las Chumberas, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. 28°27’40.4″N 16°18’07.6″W
Use: Church and Community Center
Structure: Reinforced concrete
Materials: Local volcanic stone, concrete
Status: Completed the Parish Center (2008); Church (2019); environment (2021)
Client: Bisophric of Tenerife – The Holy Redeemer Parish
Total built area: 1,050 m2.
Awards: Concrete Innovation Award, Ambuja Knowledge Foundation of India, 2012
The dramatic topography of the site is dealt with by introducing a perimeter ramp that gives access to the square and to the second floor of the Church. This building, which was conceived as a visual icon within a poorly planned neighborhood, rises monumentally with four independent volumes that resemble large rocks. The slits in between them allow air and light into the space. The Church stands starkly, stripped of superfluous elements that are a distraction from its spiritual essence. Overhead natural light filters down to provide each room with a mystical atmosphere. The energy efficiency that concrete provides due to its isotropic nature is enhanced by the thermal inertia of the thick massive walls.To improve the acoustic performance of the spaces we mixed local volcanic rock (picón) into the concrete, and once the material had set and the formwork had been removed, it was chipped away to produce irregular surfaces. The result is an expressive rough finish that absorbs sound better than conventional concrete does.While the client did not have already enough funds for the entire building, the Social Centre, offering a cultural and educational program, was urgently needed and so our design allowed building two of the fours modules, in use since ten years now.