Sta. Barbara Chapel
The Sta. Barbara Chapel’s unique design makes it appear both unassuming yet prominent at the same time. The chapel is, at a glance, quite simple—literally only a few posts and a roof are visible from the outside, after all—but it is the execution of this straightforward design that makes it so remarkable and distinctive. The roof is a massive pyramidal structure that essentially makes up more than half of the whole exterior. It is made in a classic gray slate-style tile that tempers its grandiose scale and makes it look quietly elegant. The plain white posts that support the roof all lean in towards the center of the “pyramid” (as it were), so that the overall triangular shape continues from top to bottom. Inside the chapel, the columns cleverly merge upwards to form a large, plain white cross in the middle of the ceiling. The ceiling itself is made of polished wood panels that give the place a refined quality, while serving to even out the august gray and white color scheme with a warmer tone. It is a neat and open design that offers ample lighting and ventilation.
The unique geometry of the roof is mirrored inside by the altar—an austere white table shaped like an upside-down triangle, whose only design feature is a slender cross facing the pews. The chancel is also clean and simple, with light gray wall tiles highlighting the figure of Christ’s Ascension. These choice design elements make the chapel’s atmosphere light and uplifting.
The surrounding area is largely made of gray stone, brought to life by the trees and greenery around the chapel. Along the fences are posts bearing the Stations of the Cross, all done in simply carved blocks inset in cement posts. All in all, the Sta. Barbara chapel is a humble yet outstanding architectural structure that provides a solemn and restful place for its community to gather in celebration.