The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe has hired JGMA to transform an existing gymnasium into a 1,300 seat worship space to serve the growing needs of the church. Currently, the church holds a crowded service inside an old gymnasium but prefers to gather outdoors whenever possible for the availability of extra space.
The design of the plan utilizes the entire existing gymnasium floor area for guest seating, altar space, choir area and a sacristy while the addition of a mezzanine level was necessary in order to meet the desired capacity of at least 1,300 guests. The mezzanine has fixed bench seating while the main level has non-fixed seating for flexibility of layout and function. The ground floor and mezzanine levels are seamlessly connected through the altar and adjoining stepped choir area as the concept of connectedness was paramount for the church. A newly constructed, double-height vestibule will run parallel to the entire length of the worship space and provide ample area for guests to gather before and after service and a landscaped plaza space has been incorporated that allows outdoor gathering and events to occur during the warmer seasons. The final major addition is the seventy-five foot tall steeple that extends upwards from the vestibule and is clad with reflective metal that will serve as a beacon and landmark for the surrounding Catholic community.