Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Northern Indiana

A new complex for a Hispanic Catholic congregation of 500 to 1,000 people

Jubilee 2000 Competition

To begin, we determined four primary dimensional origins: the flower, the barn, the cloister and the plaza.  These took precedence because of the multiple memories they synthesize. The Flower serves as a poetic organizational origin.  The Virgin Mary sent Juan Diego to carry out-of-season flowers down the mountain in his mantle.  The flowers, still fresh and fragrant, served as the earthly proof of Mary's visitation and covered her image that appeared miraculously on his mantle.  The Barn serves as a religious, vernacular, and construction origin.  The religious architecture of the barn stems from gothic monastic granaries.  Modeled after traditional churches, these historic structures paid tribute to God for all that he provided.  The barn is also indicative of a vernacular language found in Northern Indiana.   It acknowledges the importance of the farm to the community. The construction is composed of essentially local, easily handled pieces, so that few skilled workers are required.  As communities have come together for barn raisings, so will this community.

The Cloister offers refuge and introspection in the security of one's religion.  The Plaza designates a sheltered open square for the extended community.  Cloister and Plaza combine to provide a sheltered gathering space for the faithful community that frames an exterior hallowed ground and projects the interior outward to the community.  Monolithic concrete walls establish a firm presence as they rise from the earth to project grace inward to the church community and outward to the extended community.  The walls mark the parameters of the sacred ground. They provide the necessary architectural and poetic structure for the church and reach out to all the faithful while simultaneously creating a unique memory for the faithful to carry with them.  This church, intended for a Hispanic congregation in Northern Indiana, epitomizes the displacement that the non-hierarchical Border creates.  Thus, we must establish a new Land from the old and new origins.