Tampa, Florida……..Alfonso Architects receives the AIA Award of Design Excellence from the Florida chapter of the organization for the Tampa Covenant Church located in Tampa, Florida. This modernist project is a combination of new construction and renovation. The project includes a 25,000 sq. ft. building that provides a sanctuary, administrative offices and classrooms for the congregation of four hundred-fifty. In addition, two existing single level buildings were renovated and the exterior space, including parking, lighting and landscaping, was redesigned. “The challenge,” according to Alberto Alfonso, AIA was “to establish an intimate church campus by creating a new exterior courtyard that would act as a catalyst for community interaction and as the physical nexus joining new and existing buildings.”
Integrative natural elements were used to manifest the congregation’s theological sensitivities in terms of physicality of the space. The Fibonacci sequence of natural proportions was the underlying basis for the chancel area. The careful positioning of elements (chapel, walls, cross, and “red scoop”) also harmonize with the ever widening spiral design. Natural light, evidenced by the use of skylights and candlelight, as well as the focused use of wood and stone contribute to the important communion of human beings and their natural environment. Quantities throughout the project focus on biblical references. The fourteen chandeliers, for example, represent the fourteen biblical stations of the cross. Additionally, each chandelier is etched with an individual set of rings that when laid over a melodic score, notate the first fourteen pitches of the scared hymn “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” The carbon steel candle box has seven compartments representing the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest. Alberto Alfonso designed the hand etched stucco engraving located in the passage under bell tower structure that welcomes parishioners to the sanctuary.
Alfonso Architects, Inc. is a 30 person architectural design firm with current offices in Tampa Florida, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Milan, Italy. The firm was founded in 1988 by Cuban born brothers Carlos and Alberto Alfonso and Angel del Monte. Alfonso Architects has won over 40 project-specific AIA Design Awards. Representative design projects include the Nielsen Media Research Global Technology Center, a 650,000 square foot office and technology campus in Oldsmar, Florida and the Tampa International Airports Southwest Airlines Terminal, a 110,000 square foot airside. Both of these projects received the AIA Award of Honor.
Philosophically, Alberto Alfonso’s design process relies on the development of a project-specific architectural design idea that is grounded in site, program history and region. An accomplished painter, Alfonso’s process also utilizes painting, sketching, wood and steel models, and 3D computer technology to investigate design solutions. His work is heavily influenced by climate and the celebration of light referencing his Cuban heritage. There is a strong emphasis on materiality investigation to achieve an architectural expression that is both timeless and vigorous in detail.
More information and images can be seen on the firm’s Architizer account.
Photos: © Al Hurley.[Press Release]