Christ the King Church, Loyola College, Chennai – The Architectural Marvel
Christ the King Church was designed and built in 1931 by Architect S. A. Gnana Pragasam Pillai at the behest of Rev. Fr. Francis Bertram S.J., founder Principal (1924-1935) and second Rector (1926-36) of Loyola College. It is smaller in length, width and height when it is compared to many other churches built by Jesuits in Tamil Nadu but definitely unique with its majestic exterior.
The 157 feet tall single German spire rising on the central portal along with the slender needle pinnacles set as corner elements, on the piers and the fliers of the buttress gives the church a flamboyant elevation. The spire which is an open work type in some measure is penetrated with tall lancet arches filled with tracery windows. Since the tall lancets relegate the use of rose windows to the background in the church it may be grouped under the lancet Gothic model as in the cases of Salisbury (England) and Milan (Italy) Cathedrals.
The portals (three in number) are not ornate and the Gothic features of the exterior and interior are usual but the distinctive feature the like of which is not to be seen in no other Gothic churches of the state is the flying buttresses. The fliers of them carry a two layered decoration in which crockets borne by thin stems surmount a sloppy line of standing quarterfoils. Attractive pinnacles cap the vertical buttresses (piers). The first pair of fliers near the central spire has beautiful capping pinnacles at the meeting point with piers that are taller than those behind them.