Concept and Design of the New Church
The church is based on the following concepts.
That there are three basic periods in the life of Christ
- The baptism
- The public life
- The crucifixion
That theologically these periods correspond to:
- Instruction, i.e. Enlightenment and
- The final sacrifice
Further more, liturgically these find expression in:
- The Baptismal Font and Confessional
- The Pulpit and
- The altar and tabernacle
In early Christian Churches the plan and deposition of elements clearly reflected these concepts. Later on churches became one generalized space in which the various elements – confessional, baptismal font, pulpit, a main altar and side altars – were congregated together.
The design for the new Salvacao church is a return to original principles.
First one comes into the entrance courtyard, a dim cool space which serves as a transition from the street outside. From here one can proceed to the main areas.
On the left of the courtyard is the baptistery. Here are located the confessional and the baptismal font. These are the sacraments which correspond to purification and preparation.
Directly beyond the courtyard is the main congregational space, in the center of which is located the pulpit and the lectern. This is the area of enlightenment and instruction.
Beyond this at the end of the axis, is the holy of holies: The tabernacle. This is the sanctuary, the area of sacrifice, of meeting with God.
In addition the following should be noted :
The oratory is to the right of the courtyard and connecting directly to the main congregational space. Here will be located the small altars for weekdays and additional Sunday Masses. The space can also be sealed off from the main congregational area so as to be usable for sodality meetings, retreats and parish activities.
The sacristy is located adjacent to the main congregational space and the oratory.
The rectory which connects to the sacristy is located to the south end of the site, with its own independent road entrance. On the lower level are located the parish offices and meeting rooms and on the upper level the living accommodation for the priests.
The graveyard on the northwest corner of the site is preserved.
The Blessed Sacrament can be kept in the main sanctuary and/ or in the small altars in the oratory. This could be especially useful during holy week services for then the Eucharist can be absent from the main sanctuary but present in the oratory.
Architecturally, the concept is one of quite reflection and meditation. The large covered space of the baptistery, the main congregational space, the sacristy and the oratory are inter connected so that the covered seating and standing accommodation of the church is well over a thousand persons. All these areas open out to the gardens and courtyard which will act as overflow space for still larger congregations. In the courtyard will be located the Stations of the Cross, the Grottos and various other shrines.