San Paolo Parish ComplexEdit profile
"Suspending a volume inside another. Seeing the sky through the concrete from the outside, into the inside, toward the outside"
This project won the national competition organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference to design new parish centres: "to provide an innovative and decisive landmark in accordance with the latest international research and symbolising the rebirth of the city after the earthquake".
The new parish complex is composed of two main elements, which also serve the purpose of providing a religious centre. The first feature, the church, is a monolith designed in a pure geometric form, a box within a box measuring 30x22.5metres by 25 m in height. The second feature, an elongated low parallelepiped, holds the Vestry, Pastoral Ministry rooms and Canonical House. A third translucent structure, the Weekday Chapel, both joins together and distinguishes the two main structures. A thrust towards spirituality and quiet prayer blend together in an interplay of beams of natural light crossing the structure both transversely and vertically, projecting towards the main features, the Altar, Ambo and Baptismal Font.
The striking structure is raised one a half metres above grade level. It can be reached by crossing a parvis, a long walkway leading to the entrance, a clean horizontal cut into the absolute compactness marking the entire front elevation. A beam of light which interacts with the outside.
All the furniture have been designed by local craftsmen.
They even help alter how we perceive the works of certain artists.
The artist Enzo Cucchi designed the monumental "Pole-Cross" sculpture outside the church, which is 13.50 m tall and made of concrete and white Carrara marble, actually turning into an architectural feature itself.
The artist Mimmo Paladino created the 14 stations along the Via Crucis
Description from architects