One of Portugal’s largest churches, the Sanctuary of Fatima expanded it’s architectural design with the addition of a 600 square meter outdoor altar for it’s booming number of gatherers to hear sermons.
The work of architect Paula Santos, the massive plane is covered in fiberglass and coated the traditional color of churches in Portugal, a brilliantly white reflective finish. The structure is supported by only one block at the rear resembling an enormous modern altar.
The minimalist design is adorned with several embellishments such as the image of Christ, liturgical places and a sculpture of the materia espiritual by varying artists.
At first glance, the structure appears simplistic but has many concealed rooms hidden underground such as a sacristy, a chapel of the sacred reserve and a support area for the priests.
Another feature of the new design is accommodations for those with physical disabilities making mobility easier in areas like the old basilica, the existing colonnades and the staircase for access to all religious structures.
The open air, outdoor square provides more space and a breathtaking view of the beautiful landscape surrounded by sky and the church tower in the backdrop.
The project was completed in time for two important events, the religious tradition of the apparitions of Fatima, and a visit from Pope Francis in May 2017.