The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years
The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years
The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

The traditional church of Alcalá, under the protection of the Virgin of Candelaria, initially closed for safety reasons and finally demolished in 2011, is finally being rebuilt thanks to the deep desire of the townspeople to recover the memory of the hermitage that disappeared

A new church that revives tradition, the memory of an old building that stood alone on the lava ground that now lies beneath the asphalt. The architect to take up this challenge is Alejandro Beautell, who gives the Church of Alcalá two different naves

The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

The two distinct volumes on the outside translate into a single interior space. One of the two spaces recovers the form and position of the old church, reinterpreting the traditional architecture in an attempt to recover its memory and soften the sense of loss caused by its demolition

The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

The walls are new, but the atmosphere inside them is the same and condenses all the moments experienced there. The image of the Virgin returns to its original position, occupying the same place as before, at the head of the old body

The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

The other volume, like a candle flame, seeks verticality and culminates in a skylight that illuminates the presbytery and connects the two naves, the old and the new: a bridge between tradition and modernity. The strategy of breaking down the building into different volumes was also used in response to the rigid urban conditions that forced the building to be aligned with the perimeter road

The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

From a material point of view, the construction is very austere: the simplicity of the materials used and the use of resources such as natural lighting give the space an ascetic character which seeks the essential. The volume reminiscent of the old church is made of cyclopean concrete and has  natural stone existing on the site. The chiselled finishes of this body are done in the traditional way with lime. The white of the lime contrasts with the ochre color used in the new volume, also made of concrete, this time coloured en masse and bush hammered with  different shades

The Church of Alcalá, the story of a tradition which has been hidden for too many years

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