Project team:


Client: Holy Redeemer Church
Architects:  Menis Arquitectos – Fernando Menis

20. Sep 2013

Texture and perception

The Holy Redeemer Church in La Laguna/E

Text: Sonja Kiekens
Photos: Menis Arquitectos / Simona Rotta

A prime example of the philosophy of creating atmosphere with light in a space built of exposed concrete is the “Church of Light” designed by Tadao Ando. The Japanese architect created a space that thrives on the effect of light, materials and forms, a space that brings people together through light. The light cross designed for the “Church of Light” project in the 1980’s is one of the most well known daylight designs in sacred architecture and has been published widely. It is still exemplary.

The Holy Redeemer Church in La Laguna/E, designed by architect Fernando Menis, is a further prime example of daylight architecture. The concept speaks of minimalism and nature, of texture and light. Menis exploits the natural conditions of the topography to determine his choice of materials, which in turn affect the overall appearance of the church. Light is the architectural element that brings out the texture and quality of the building. The architect has used daylight, its nuances of colour and the paths it takes over the course of the day, to design the spaces.

From the outside, the church resembles a block of stone that has been hewn out of a quarry and dropped from a considerable height onto Spanish soil, where it broke into four pieces. The four volumes are now propped up against one another, restless, as if a powerful shove would send them tumbling in all directions. The outer walls are powerful, the solid concrete brutal – radiating archaic monumentality. Expressive, raw, complacent. Haptically reminiscent of the fine dust that blows in from the Sahara once a year, settling in the north of Tenerife. Dry. Rough. Uneasy.
But then the sun rises and transforms everything. The concrete begins to glow, there are no further signs of brutal architecture. Bathed in the dynamic flow of daylight, the stone suddenly appears to flow with it. The weightiness of the stones crumbles. They become light and approachable. All that is stoic becomes dynamic. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 89.
And our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store) contains a media-enhanced version.

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