Tallest temple in Dumaguete-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
THE St. John Bosco Chapel is the first religious structure to be built in all of Don Bosco School’s years of existence in Dumaguete City. And among the buildings within the school campus, it is the only structure recognizable with architectural design.
It was designed by architect Ned Carlos, principal architect of Carlos & Antique Architects. The temple sits on a 45-degree angled axis against the grid-like pattern of existing buildings. Standing in front of the gym, the faithful gets a three-dimensional and best view of the temple. It rises 24 meters in height, equivalent to an eight-storey building.
The roof and especially the unique design of the skylight are abstraction of Mt. Sinai with emphasis on vertical lines that point towards the heavens
Going inside, the church-goers are overwhelmed by a cathedral-like experience. Central in plan but octagonal in shape, the nave and aisles seem to emanate from the cross. They are red wine in color, symbolizing the blood of Christ flowing throughout the Bosconian community.
This spatial experience gets even more exhilarating as the worshippers rest their eyes on the altar, which is well illuminated throughout the day.
White light pierces through the skylight above like rays of glory coming from heaven. The cross and figure of the risen Christ are illuminated from the sidewalls with the same white light. The whole altar area glows like the holy place as it was conceptualized to be.
Up close, the altar table and lectern are finished in red and white terrazzo as if sprinkled by the blood of Christ.
During Mass, no one feels the heat. The whole chapel was designed to exploit natural ventilation: the altar area is well ventilated by concealed windows from the sidewalls; the choir area, with decorative circular holes as if punched through the back wall; and the sanctuary, through the five-grilled partitions of the octagonal plan.
Looking around, people will notice that white and shades of white were used to give the chapel a symbolic tone. This, according to the architect, is to give an ambience of purity, as Christ was pure.
“The experience,” says architect Carlos “is like going to a medieval cathedral but with a modern twist.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2013.