Our Lady of the Angels Church
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Westlake Reed Leskosky has been engaged by the Franciscan Renewal Center, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, to design and engineer a new 800 seat catholic church. Inspired by the natural surroundings of the Sonoran Desert, the church is designed as a response to this unique place. Recalling the stone of the nearby mountain ranges; heavy stone walls form a low base for the church. The lower height of this perimeter wall responds to the scale of the existing campus, which consists of predominately single story structures. As a gradual transition in scale, the stone walls give way to an upper volume which is a pure elliptical form, defining the space of the nave for congregation. Reinforcing the connection to the natural surroundings – the upper volume is sliced vertically, providing views to the nearby mountain ranges. The combination of these two upper and lower forms are intended to invoke, in the words of St. Francis, a "sublime humility and humble sublimity" as the humble earthly realm is united with the heavens above.
As a reflection of Franciscan beliefs toward the relationship to the earth, the project incorporates many sustainable features, and is anticipating LEED Silver Certification.