Holy Family Church Annex Proposal – Rockland, Massachusetts
The need to provide Holy Family Church with accessible means for the physically impaired and the elderly has been approached with the acceptance by the Parish that the new elements of vertical circulation could not be hidden. During the planning stages, several locations were considered, but ultimately the addition was placed at the front of the Church to provide the entire community with the same entrance point.
The Annex was designed in the same fashion with which ancillary spaces and secondary chapels were added to major Romanesque cathedrals. At 135 years old, Holy Family Church is a fine example of the late 19th century Neo-Romanesque architecture. Although the structure is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its serene yet austere dignity of form and color warranted a refined addition matching the pre-existing architecture.
Conceived in the shape of an elongated octagon, the small annex has the elevator hoistway at its center and a set of stairs around it. From the entrance, any parish member can choose to access by stairs or elevator either the lower or upper sanctuaries. The cascading roofs around the elevator hoistway and above the stairs achieve both a less bulky appearance for the annex and a successful dialogue with the cascading walls around the Marian Memorial. The front and rear semi-octagons recall the shape of the main altar apses at both upper and lower sanctuaries.