ST. THOMAS CHURCH

Architects: R3Architetti

Place: Port au Prince, Haiti

Year: 2013

Type: Commission

Status: Built

Client: Scalabrinan Missionary Order

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Thousands of evacuees who left the Haitian capital after the earthquake of 2010 gave rise to the Camp Corail community located in an area north of Port au Prince. The missionary order of the Scalabrini Fathers have created there a new mission developed around the new church of St. Thomas.

The church has been designed to be first and foremost a place for the new community to meet and find shelter. The space is distributed on a square plan divided into three naves: the entrance to the basilica has a reduced height and is especially large to create the perception of a familiar and welcoming place.

Walking down the aisle, the nave portals become progressively higher, allowing the light to penetrate more and more through the clerestory and the apse: such space invites the devotee to a more spiritual dimension where a deeper connection with the divine may be found.

Given the great windows of the structure and the shortage of building materials on the island, reinforced concrete and steel have been used for the entire church.

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