Location: Florence, Italy
Climate: Temperate, Humid subtropical
Materials: Concrete, Glass
Scale: 58 ㎡ Extrasmall
Types: Chapel, Religious
The position of the area on the edge of the rose garden, just below the main road, influenced the general choices of the project; it would have put in place a series of relationships between the natural terraces, the surrounding park, and the clearly visible walls of the strong belvedere. The first act was the design of a podium, solid support for the new chapel, and a stage to enjoy the view of the city, which becomes the scenic backdrop of the park below.
The base is inserted at the top of the terraces and, in addition to horizontally joining the inclined plane of the existing road, precludes the view of the factory from afar, making it only perceive its presence. What gave shape to the new chapel is the layered concrete wall, an enclosure that carries the meanings of protection and identification of the place, and the covering that covers the part of that place destined for the sacred hall. A tower rises from it, a visual continuum of the nearby fortified line, of which the material used is also a reference.
The wall becomes the base, the last terrace of an already written system. Starting against the ground and engaging with the podium, it encompasses all the different areas of the building, partly open and partly covered, making it the sacred place itself.
The narthex acts as a transition environment, a cold space that anticipates the actual classroom; here the wall, in direct contact with the ground, becomes a solid container, and allows nature to infiltrate architecture. A tub of water, a profane reference to the baptismal font, runs continuously at the base of the wall, while a single window allows you to view the outdoor garden. The classroom appears bare to the visitor, inhabited only by a crucifix and a seat. The large window ennobles this space, giving its opacity a sense of abstraction.
Finally the light. Powerful presence in the classroom, and a fine line in the narthex, underlines the multiplicity of environments, differentiating them. A door leads to the outside, the fence continues, this time delimiting a protected garden, embedded in the slight slope of the hill.
The eye lingers on the texture of the material, on the smoothness and on the stratigraphy of the concrete. In the pavement of the podium, the eye connects, connects, perimeters, distinguishing various areas, stopping places and passageways.
The seat, located near the entrance, allows visitors to enjoy the show.