Located in Baytown, Texas, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church’s large and active congregation was in need of a multi-functioning parish hall that, aesthetically, set itself apart from the existing site. The new parish hall replaces multiple buildings within the 1960s campus providing spaces that can hold a variety of functions simultaneously from classes and day care to large gatherings and covered athletic practices. The program consists of a 600-occupant main hall, commercial kitchen facilities, and four classrooms with moveable partitions that can separate the rooms or combine them into one large community space. The multiple programmed spaces work independently from each other while being connected via wide overhangs, two patios, and a large exterior pavilion that provides maximum connection to the adjacent athletic fields.
A traditional metal building provided the framework for the project and led the selection of other economic, durable, and functional materials keeping the construction cost low. Inspired by the old parish hall’s stained glass, the multi-colored storefront glazing was installed adjacent to the main public spaces. The building’s orientation, interior space plan, and location of programmed exterior space increases natural ambient light while reducing electrical and mechanical energy consumption. The design also increases energy efficiency by using a high-albedo white roof while air conditioning only 61% of the total programmed 18,000 square feet. Following the organizational spine, the roofs of the parish hall slope toward each other for a future rainwater harvesting system that will assist in maintaining the athletic fields. The new Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall has undoubtedly sparked a strengthened sense of community and belonging within the organization and its members.