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St. Gabriel chapel draws design lovers among worshippers

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St. Gabriel chapel draws design lovers among worshippers

The fish-shaped structure at Uptown Mall underscores how chapels have become part and parcel of urban developments
The Holy Cross design on the ceiling symbolizes Christ's protection.—PHOTOS BY JILSON TIU

The Holy Cross design on the ceiling symbolizes Christ’s protection.—PHOTOS BY JILSON TIU

The minimalist design exudes a timeless appeal.

The minimalist design exudes a timeless appeal.

An ellipse of a roof whose incline is framed by glass walls is the striking architectural feature of St. Gabriel the Archangel Chapel at Uptown Bonifacio, Megaworld Corporation’s upscale development in Taguig City.

Perched on the deck of the swanky Uptown Mall, the chapel sports the glazed look of the mall and the surrounding high-rises. The design is integral to the new township; it is the soul of the emerging community. Its rooftop location and transparent architecture symbolize a being of light watching over everyone.

Its expressive form is inspired by ichthus or pisces, an ancient symbol for Christ. According to St. Augustine, the icthus was the Greek acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” Ichthus was also the Greek word for “fish.”

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From an aerial viewpoint, the chapel is shaped like a fish, its rooftop punctuated by the skylight of the Holy Cross. The tempered glass walls with structural glass fins and spider fittings become part of the visual aesthetic. Thus, the flow of natural light, the views of the mall’s water features and roof garden and successive vistas of towers flanking Antipolo Hills all become part of the worship experience.

The interiors are kept spare and simple, except for the upholstered leather pews, exuding a sense of serenity and timelessness.
According to feng shui, Uptown Mall’s frontage faces east to receive sustenance from the earth and water. Likewise, the chapel’s altar faces east, according to the Roman Catholic tradition.

The Chapel of St. Gabriel is in the parish named after St. Michael the Archangel. It is part of the triad of places of worship named after holy angels in Taguig, the last of which is the Chapel of St. Raphael the Archangel which will soon serve Megaworld’s McKinley Hill township and Venice Grand Canal Mall. It can comfortably accommodate a hundred with some spillovers outside.—CONTRIBUTED

Mass is held Monday-Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon. Holy Week schedule: no Mass April 13-15; Easter Masses on April 16 at 12 noon, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

View of St. Gabriel the Archangel from the Chairman’s penthouse of the Alliance Global Group headquarters in Uptown Bonifacio. Its form adopts that of the “ichthus” or the Jesus fish.—PHOTO COURTESY OF MEGAWORLD CORPORATION

View of St. Gabriel the Archangel from the Chairman’s penthouse of the Alliance Global Group headquarters in Uptown Bonifacio. Its form adopts that of the “ichthus” or the Jesus fish.—PHOTO COURTESY OF MEGAWORLD CORPORATION

The chapel brings the community spirit into the township.

The chapel brings the community spirit into the township.

The intersecting arcs of the “ichthus”-shaped room form a canopy over the glass facade

The intersecting arcs of the “ichthus”-shaped room form a canopy over the glass facade

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TAGS: Megaworld Corporation, St. Gabriel the Archangel Chapel, Uptown Bonifacio
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