Renovation of Sanctuary of Most Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sampaloc, Manila

Photo by Ariel Raquitico

DESIGN UPDATE  The 1932 sculpted image of the Trinity, originally framed by the left side arch, travels not to the left side wall as earlier proposed, but to the center of the central arch, beneath the cross and above the tabernacle.


Proposed Sanctuary
 Ambo, Altar and Presider's Chair at Proposed Sanctuary

 View from right of Sanctuary, with Baptismal Font in foreground.

 View from left of Sanctuary, showing 1932 sculpted image of Holy Trinity at far left

 Crucifix on lowest of three curved walls, seen from Nave.

 Crucifix seen from the meditation altar of the priest about to celebrate the mass.

Sacrarium at Sacristy, for holy water that drains directly to plants outside.

Architectural Design Statement
July 26, 2011

The new sanctuary demonstrates our goal of a less figurative, less pictorial understanding of the Trinity.  Our sense of the sanctuary space, and the way that light helps us to begin to fathom the sanctuary space, is the context of our understanding of the cross, and more precisely the Eucharist.  The space of the sanctuary reminds us of all Space and Time.  The light in that space reminds us of Light. 

There are the trinitarian aspects of three arches, three curved walls, etc., as well as the sculpted image of the Holy Trinity from 1932, but they are preparatory to the more profoundly Trinitarian expression of space, light, and the cross.

The 1932 sculpted image being at the side means that we respect our earlier understanding of the Trinity as well as the devotion that accompanies it, but that the new sanctuary demonstrates the less figurative, less pictorial understanding of the Trinity that we are aiming for.

In 1932, we thought perhaps that we could contain our understanding of the Holy Trinity in a statue, a sculpted image.  But we've realized since then that the Holy Trinity is a mystery far vaster, far richer, far deeper than that.

This less figurative, less pictorial understanding of the Trinity also underscores the simplicity of the design, and the essential quality of all the elements that are in it.  The various components serve not just their pragmatic intents but also their metaphoric ones.

The three curved walls, ascending in height, demarcate the front of the sanctuary from the back while maintaining an over-all spatial wholeness of the sanctuary.  The sanctuary wall is textured whereas the rest of the walls of the nave are plain, to highlight the importance of the events happening in the sanctuary while serving an acoustically beneficial role.  The spacing of the vertical grooves of the sanctuary wall varies, giving the illusion of undulation or the fall of fabric, to suggest the sanctuary wall as a kind of curtain, parting to reveal the Holy of Holies within.

 Existing condition of Sanctuary, seen from Main Entrance.