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Letting the light flood in

Nick Myall
Wednesday 23 Nov 2016

Renzo Zecchetto has made full use of the available light at the St Thomas More Catholic Church in San Diego

Designed by Renzo Zecchetto, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Oceanside, San Diego, USA has been praised for its “warm modernism” and exceptional design and construction.

"The main conceptual idea is that the space had to promote both a sense of community and a sense of transcendence. We set out to achieve this with the most inexpensive of all building materials: light,” lead architect Renzo Zecchetto told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Located on a hillside at the intersection of Melrose Road and Cannon Drive, the parish campus also includes a 4,000 sq ft community hall completed in 2003, administrative offices (currently under construction), and surrounding garden courts. 

The new church sanctuary seats 1,100 people and is built on the highest elevation of the site. A sixty-foot bell tower lends visibility and definition from afar. At the entry, a glass curtain wall and wood-composite overhang welcomes parishioners with transparency and warmth. The interior is characterised by an abundance of cherry wood, Chilean travertine and sunlight, which filters into the space through clerestories and staggered walls that oppose the harsh western sun.

St. Thomas More Catholic Church is located at 1450 S Melrose Dr., Oceanside, CA 92056.

Nick Myall

News editor

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