Amidst the apartment towers of Madrid’s Barrio del Pilar, this parish center of the Carmelite Fathers asserts its public condition with a horizontal silhouette and a concrete enclosure whose relief shows geometrical patterns similar to those of the Alhambra. The access to the temple takes place through a cloister to which all the annexes lead.
“The program they asked for was very nice, very advanced from a religious point of view. They wanted the church to be a place where the faithful could gather in a festive, community celebration, far from the gloomy atmosphere still prevailing in most religious spaces. It had to look like an assembly hall and serve other purposes as well by removing the wooden altar. They didn’t want the church to look half empty when there were few attendees, which was achieved by way of a cubic central space, like a box, that opens to the sides with triangular annexes. But when it was completed, the friar who was my interlocutor was sent to Segovia and those who took his place did not grasp a thing and turned the building into a small convent, with an image of the Virgin in granite and other things that denied the open character with which it had been conceived.”... [+]