María Pinto Church

María Pinto Church

Santiago, Chile
Project Year

María Pinto Church

Umwelt as Architects

The community of Maria Pinto wants to transform the church of Santa Rita de Casia into a new parish center according to their changing needs of programs and scale. The existing 7700m2 site is largely abandoned. The current church is too small for the growing community and conditions of light, sound and temperature offered are deficient. As part of the project, in addition to the main church space, a wake and a community room are proposed to house the public functions that often bear the parishes in rural contexts.

The first decision of the project is to divide and distribute the program over the site as independent volumes, all connected within a stone pavement. This, to reorganize the site generating a central space that is also equipped and activated by surrounding programs. The rest of the site is cleared and transformed into an open park.

The church is the main element of the set, located in the centre, facing an open esplanade that replicates and extends the churches interior area, and serves as a venue for meetings, events and processions. From the outside, the church is characterized by the color and weight generated by a bricks and tile skin and a side corridor, similar to those of colonial casonas in the area. The interior is a great shed, structured through a series of concrete ribs that contain all facilities, and surmounted by an altar defined as a negative space, a patio of light that serves as backgound to the ceremony.

The wake room is as a cube that can retreat or fully open to the outside. The community hall is situated at one end of the site in direct connection to the park and outdoor plaza, and is planned as a large flexible space crowned by a wooden shading roof.

The organization of the various elements and its materialization seek to amplify the projects condition of public infrastructure. This, by relying on program as in the sites imagery and spatiality with its large white walls, wide esplanades of indeterminate use, shaded inbetween spaces, and heavy volumes.

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Project Credits
Chicago, SAGA Development head office
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