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St. Stephen Deacon + Martyr


p r o j e c t St.

Built last year, the St. Stephen Deacon + Martyr Sanctu-

Stephen Deacon + Martyr Sanctuary, El Paso

c l i e n t Catholic

ary of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso represents the final

Diocese of El Paso

a r c h i t e c t Alvidrez


phase of a project designed by Alvidrez Architecture.

d e s i g n t e a m David

Alvidrez, AIA; Jose Luis Lopez; Priscilla Velez;

Comprising a total 42,000 sf on 7.5 acres, the project


took 10 years to complete. The 25,745-sf sanctuary,

Enrique Spencer c o n t r a c t o r Lloyd

its design inspired by the themes of light and journey,

Hamilton Construction Engineering Consultants (civil); Henry

accommodates a capacity of 1,000 people and was

K. Ng and Associates (structural); Fluid Systems (mechanical);

completed on a $3.6m budget. A small courtyard divides

Gonzalo Aguilar Professional Engineer (electrical); Desert Elements

the new and older buildings, creating a small gather-

(landscape); AMEC Earth and Environmental (geotechnical); Scott

ing space that encourages social interaction among

Biggs Professional Estimating & Consulting (estimator); Julie

parishioners. The sanctuary’s entry has three portals,

Ericson Gereda (accessibility)

referencing the Holy Trinity, that lead into the light-filled

p h o t o g r a p h e r Fred

worship space. Different from traditional double-aisle

c o n s u l t a n t s Quantum

Golden Photography




churches, St. Stephen’s pews are set in a semi-stacked Mullen Telles; masonry

pattern facing the altar, a configuration that brings the

units : Del Norte Masonry Products; metal materials : CMC Commercial

congregation together in closer fellowship. Placement

Materials; metal decking : Metal Dek Group; structural steel , concrete

of the rectilinear baptismal font at the entrance further

reinforcing steel :

r e s o u r c e s concrete pavement and materials :

railings and handrails :

supports the sense of community, with surrounding seats

Garcia’s Welding; metal studs : Dietrich Metal Framing (Rew Materi-

and water gently cascading down the sides of the basin.


Wanting the sanctuary to reflect the community’s diver-

Structural Steel Services;

architectural woodwork :

Imperial Woodwork;

waterproofing : membrane

sity and communal spirit, church officials commissioned

Johns Manville; metal and wood doors : Desert Construction

works of art from regional craftsmen. Among them, Ken

Specialties; entrances , glazed curtain wall : Architectural Aluminum

Grlesemer, a liturgical designer from Albuquerque, as-

& Glass; stained glass artist: Architectural Stained Glass; acoustical

sisted on the design of the project, while Jeff Smith of

ceilings :

Best Sign

Fort Davis created a wall of stained glass. Also, artist

manufactured casework , ecclesiastical

John Nava created nine tapestries of saints that corre-

Chemprobe; building insulation : Tripolymer Foam Insulation; roofing :


paint :


Systems (Garcia’s Welding); furniture :

Imperial Woodworks

signage :

spond with the ethnic spectrum of the congregation, a clear departure from Euro-centric tradition. S u s a n

3 / 4

2 0 1 0

B u t l e r



6 7

Sanctuary 1 tabernacle 2 altar 3 sanctuary 4 Baptismal Font 5 sacrist 6 Vesting 7 Exterior Narthex 8 children’s Chapel

t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t


Texas Architect March/April 2010: Performance Spaces  

This edition highlights architecture deigned for performance throughout Texas, including thoughtful essays about the use of public space and...

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