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SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT CATHOLIC CHURCH
Austin, Texas

The design concept for the Catholic Church of St. Albert the Great is intended to enhance the worship experience from the initial approach to the site to the liturgical participation. Located at the low end of the site, the parking lot serves as a buffer between the church and an adjacent apartment complex. The site paths guide worshippers to ascend towards the church. The paved and landscaped plaza at the main entrance serves as an outdoor gathering space during times of fair weather to supplement the gathering space inside. It brings the congregation together into the common experience of assembling for worship.

The design of the church building responds to the need of the parish community to balance traditional references, modern architectural design, and contemporary liturgical practice. Thus the building integrates a concept almost basilican in form with a three-quarter central plan. Materials taken from the hill-country vernacular, including limestone and panelized metal roofing, reinforce the traditional idiom with thick stone walls and gabled and shed roofs. The manipulation of space and material detailing provide a modern counterpoint to historical church planning.

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© 2013 NEGRETE & KOLAR ARCHITECTS