The 2nd place winning entry for the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica in Malecon Tajamar, Cancun, Mexico went to Mexico and Spain-based firm sanzpont [arquitectura]. Cancun is a city of sun, beach and tourism so the architectural project though of religious character had to fully respond to these 3 key elements and their correspondent transcendence, which when combined with the religious concept generated a sacred space able to provide purity, protection and serenity which could only be achieved by a standard of top aesthetic beauty, symmetry and proportion.

The project seeks to show the beauty that Catholic temples have had throughout history, using a proportionate and symmetric religious language reinterpreted in a contemporary and vanguardist way. The curvilinear design concept captures soft lines allusive to the delicacy and gracefulness of Santa Maria del Mar, the Virgin’s mantle inspires the project’s form as a maternal protection symbol while the Caribbean Ocean waves underline the roof’s silhouette searching for rhythm, harmony and balance.

To attract tourism, the project includes an exterior museum that surrounds the temple facades, providing a cultural walkway that creates a richer experience for the user and a cross-shaped observation tower that provides a beautiful panoramic view for its visitors.

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