Growing Houston Catholic Community Completes Campus Expansion

Ziegler Cooper Architects is pleased to announce that it has completed a $3.5 million campus expansion for the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Community. A well-established neighborhood church in the Garden Oaks subdivision of Houston, Texas, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Community has provided a consistent ministry for the area since 1946. Their recent campus expansion includes much needed additions to their early child care center, a new pre-school building and a parish hall.

“What a joy it was to be able to work with Father Clint and his wonderful staff on such an intimate well developed campus. St. Rose has at its core a series of wonderfully scaled brick buildings that define a series of courtyards, both community and academic in function. Mature trees and gardens provided a baseline of interest for the development of their new preschool and parish hall additions. From the very beginning the studio’s goal was to provide a design that would be in character with the sense of space and community already present and advance those strengths by enriching the experience rather than encumbering them.” says Senior Principal, Paul Lodholz, AIA, LEED.

The solution consisted of three small structures, two new and one addition. All the structures are one story and have a use of materials and structural cadence that reflect the adjacent buildings. Two large pavilions anchor the main school courtyard providing a significant amount of usable outdoor space while providing ample opportunity to capture breeze. Low scale walkways connect all the structures skirting the courtyards with multicolored columns.

The preschool structures have an abundance of intimately scaled window walls in each classroom modulated by brick masonry. A stylized soft tan metal panel was the only other material used on the project. The horizontal metal accents compliment the brick and tie the character of the canopies to that of the buildings.

The parish hall was to be a modest sized room, seating about 250. The solution for the hall was to visually connect the main hall to the sanctuary on the north and the rose garden on the south with the same window wall system found in the preschool buildings. The modernist character of the hall was fashioned somewhat on the original 1948 sanctuary and education building designed by Donald Barthelme. Both structures are noteworthy examples of clean modern design with a special attention to detail. The parish hall form is a simple shed roof structure that opens up to the south allowing light to wash the main room and slopes down to the north in response to the sharply sloping roof of the sanctuary. A full service commercial kitchen was a must for the numerous fellowship events that take place.

Our goal to provide the much needed additions in a style that would from the very first day seem to be organic and original to the campus, has evidently been a success. The reaction has been very positive and the studio is now in the middle of renovating the original Barthelme education building to facilitate the incredible growth in the early childcare and preschool programs.