The via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty, is a privileged and fascinating way to approach the Mystery of God. What is beauty, which writers, poets, musicians, and artists contemplate and translate into their language, if not the reflection of the splendor of the Eternal Word made flesh? (Benedict XVI).
This a Chapel built in a girls school of excellence, in Monterey, Mexico, There the students form kinder to high school attend Mass, Reconciliation, and common and personal prayers.
At the same time the main use of the chapel will be the school parent´s day of recolletcion. Open to everyone who desires to assist to these and other activities, the chapel has four Confessionals, a multipurpose room, and five living rooms in which to have talks in small groups or spiritual direction. Made with the same brick the rest of the school uses for it´s buildings, the chapel is also open to the outside visitor.
Inside the Chapel the Tabernacle was required to be placed in the center, to teach the alumni to adore Our Lord´s Real Presence among us. An image of Our Lady with her Son in her hands, which was specially designed for the institution, had to be in the center as well. The solution was a simple gilded altarpiece, where our Lady is placed in the central panel, which shows the image of God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit in the hands of Our Lady: Daughter, Mother, and Wife of God.
When not in Mass the image of the Holy Spirit opens up to a view of the Tabernacle at a higher level and, behind it, through the same window you can see the mountain tops that surround the city and are part of the external view of the building.
The place holds about two hundred and twenty people in the pews, but when all the available space and aisles are connected, up to seven hundred people can comfortably attend Mass.
The breaking of the walls, textures, and distances give as a result a very sound acoustic design. Actually, the acoustics are perfect.
Natural light was used in every place as the first element to “create” the space; the result is also very uplifting.
Main designer: Rev. José Castaño