dellekamp schleich and AGENdA replace heritage church destroyed to earthquake in mexico

dellekamp schleich and AGENdA replace heritage church destroyed to earthquake in mexico

rising from a ruin


mexican architecture studio dellekamp schleich, together with colombian studio AGENdA agencia de arquitectura reconstruct a church, dubbed santuario del señor de tula, in jojutla, morelos, mexico. the original church, along with schools, more than 2,600 houses, and much of the town’s infrastructure had been turned to ruin following an earthquake in 2017. the destruction of the church came along with a loss of over five centuries of its architectural heritage.


the project is part of a larger masterplan to reconstruct the town’s infrastructure, and is also in charge of

the ‘parque y centro comunitario el higuerón,’ a park and community center. the team notes that the masterplan prioritizes the public over the private, and will build new hope amid the chaos.

dellekamp santuario señor tula
images © rafael gamo | @rafaelgamo



the brick vaulting of santuario del señor de tula


the project by dellekamp schleich (see more here) and AGENdA agencia de arquitectura (see more here) is defined by its large roof of brick vaulting, supported by a concrete structure poured on site. the structure is resolved from a structural arch on each side that rests only on the corners. this solution allows the passage of air and the entry of comfortable light for ceremonies, thus avoiding the use of mechanical air conditioning systems and excessive energy consumption in artificial lighting.

dellekamp santuario señor tula



open to nature and home to all


dellekamp schleich and AGENdA agencia de arquitectura organizes its santuario del señor de tula with a classical cross basilica plan. contrasting its typical plan typology, the church is redefined in section. the staggering of the floor from the atrium towards the altar produces a slow detachment from the outside world, which allows building a relationship of privacy and seclusion without losing contact with the tropical space of the gardens and nature.


in this way, the space takes shape as an open chapel and generates a threshold space between inside and outside. the ambiguous boundaries allow occupation, multiplicity of uses, and above all the certainty of being everyone’s home.

dellekamp santuario señor tula
the nave is enclosed by an array of brick barrel vaults dellekamp schleich and AGENdA replace heritage church destroyed to earthquake in mexicoruins of the original church still occupy the site


view of the luminous nighttime interior

dellekamp schleich and AGENdA replace heritage church destroyed to earthquake in mexicomonumental arches echo the memory of the heritage building


the project shows a typical cross plan, and is redefined in section



project info:


project title: santuario del señor de tula

architecture: dellekamp schleich, AGENdA agencia de arquitectura

location: jojutla, morelos, mexico

completion: november 2021

photography: © rafael gamo | @rafaelgamo


clients: infonavit | carlos zedillo, alejandra de la mora, javier garciadiego, carlos farah + fundación hogares | cristina rubio

lead architects: derek dellakamp, jachen schleich, camilo restrepo ochoa

design team at dellekamp/schleich: francisco eduardo franco ramírez, jose manuel estrada, gustavo hernández, elizabeth molina, sana frini, samuele xompero, santiago sitten, mariana víquez

design team at AGENdA agencia de arquitectura: mariana mejía, camilo toro, hellen winter

structural design: oscar trejo, sergio lópez

installations: ubaldo velazquez

landscape: taller de paisaje entorno | hugo sánchez, tonatiuh martínez, paulina zarate

lighting design: lightchitects | carlos hano

acoustic design: xicotencatl ladrón guevara

construction: serafín adame, eloy cruz, francisco lópez, alexis garicoits hernández, david herrera

vault construction: andres flores castañeda

garden construction: josé apolinar ballesteros rodríguez, ricardo antonio ballesteros amaro

carpentry: bernardo pedro cruz lópez

site supervisors: juan carlos martínez, marcelino delgado castrejon

project management: rafael luna, juan fronjosa, ruth cantera

municipal management: roque gonzález

materials: concreto CEMEX, ladrillera mecanizada

a special thanks to: diócesis de cuernavaca, obispo ramón castro, germán arrieta fuentes

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