Trasfigurazione Church

P27 December 2011

Alba (CN), Italia Type: New construction Client: Diocese of Alba - Parrocchia Natività di Maria Ss Completion: 2009 Area church: 550 sqm Area parish house: 900 sqm Seats: 400 Immages: Pepe Fotografia Plan: Archicura The area on which the parish buildings stand stretche along an artificial canal into a long and narrow plot of land.  It is a fortunate coincidence that in order to reach the Church it is necessary  to cross this stream of water, which symbolizes Spiritual rebirth. The church, which resembles a tent or a hut, is situated on a green lawn. Similarly to a tent,  the church is made of big sheets covered with metallic layers of grey zinc- titanium alloy supported by an iron structure that cannot be seen either from outside nor from inside the church. Through the church and at the top of the building, the wind parts the sheets, thus letting light seep through narrow rifts that have been deliberately placed so as to diffuse light inside the tent without producing excessive dazzling effects. Artificial lighting replicates as much as possible the tone of natural daylight. The building that hosts the religious works and the rectory are both located in a very simple construction. In front of this building is a completely white porch which links the building to the church. Therefore, two main chromatic values characterize the complex: the glossy grey of the zinc-titanium alloy covering the church and the clear white of the church and rectory's vertical walls. The building's plan, develops along a lengthwise axis which cuts through the Baptistery, the Ambo  and the Altar. The space at the two ends of the building is left “open”. Here is where the main entrances are, symbolizing the temple's evangelic opening towards humanity along the “ path,  truth and life”. The internal walls of the church are plastered. The leaning surfaces of the roofing remind one of curtains that drop from the top, where natural and artificial light comes from. This effect is rendered by using  sheets of drywall supported by metal substructures. Inside the church, along the fragmentary sections on the main eastern side, are the liturgical “symbols”: the Baptistery, the Organ, the winter Chapel and the Blessed Sacrament Church. On the two western ends of the buildings are the two reconciliation rooms, separated from the rest of the space by vertical walls that reach the the tent-like structure's own walls. The table of the altar has a rectangular or square base (in the shape of an upside down pyramid) to symbolize that its roots are deep in the ground and its ambitions tend towards the infinite sky. The Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Word are celebrated on the presbytery, placed on a platform as to represent the dominant centre of the room. The winter church also looks onto the altar through a glass wall that separates it from the liturgy room. The baptistery is located under the triangular bell tower. Direct access to the baptistery is offered through the glass wall that looks onto the liturgy room, so as to ease access to the altar from the baptistery.  The baptismal font offers immersion to adults or normal pouring for baptizing infants. A space encircled by a leaning glass wall, in a more secluded side, hosts the winter chapel and the tabernacle of the Holy Sacrament. This can easily be accessed by the priest. During festivities  celebrations can be  followed through the glass door.

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San Cassiano Church

P17 June 2001

Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 200 sqm Completion: 1975 Architects: Ugo Dellapiana, Beatrice Tessore, Sebastiano Rao Images: Archicura The building is a symbol of the early reforms originating from the Second Vatican Council. The two paths that lead to the entrance at the side of the sanctuary separate the numerous and different ways of accessing the church. These are then channelled at the back of the room. The map of the church is therefore completely turned upside down, thus hinting at the Holy Spirit’s indifference towards worldly matters in favour of the path drawn by faith. This leads us towards the Altar which is located under the light coming from the overhead, which in the church spreads everywhere from above. The roof is a big tent hanging between the bent walls that define the outline of the building, and pierced by the four glass openings that correspond to the two confessionals, the central Baptistery and the “schola cantorum”, beyond the big opening on the Apse. Curved lines draw the profiles of the walls and convey towards the presbytery. They outline the various spaces within the church: two confessionals, the arch in the sacristy, in the apse, in the baptistery and the two side entrances connected to two external spaces that “prepare believers to enter the church”. The building wraps believers, thus telling about God’s word, with a kind of charm that gathers Christians and leads them to walk the Path of Truth and Holy Life. A nearby building hosts the church’s works and administrative activities, with a meeting room and accommodation for priests. The façade that looks towards the side of the church traces its profile with flexibility and total adherence. Soon, the mechanical pipe organ in wood and tin belonging to the “schola Cantorum” will be placed in the apse as a gathering spot for the community of believers. Charmed by the word of the Gospel, Christians will come together to share their faith, accompanied by the music that will express men’s gratitude towards God’s generosity in bestowing Grace upon believers, seen as loved creatures. The light that comes from above, the wrapping walls that lean towards the altar, together with the different liturgical symbols found in the church (such as the baptistery, confessionals, altar and apse), persuade believers to become a part of the community and share their faith and prayers.

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Complex for Spiritual Exercises of the Diocese of Alba

P25 April 2001

Loc. Altavilla, Alba (CN), Italy Type: Expansion and refurbishment Area: 4,451 sqm Completion: 2003 Images: Archicura The underground room is part of a pre-existing building dedicated to cultural and religious meetings and located on a hill near the city of Alba. Three long gashes offer direct natural illumination to the underground room. These gashes are placed along the main sides of the rectangle, covered by a vault of successive arches that function as the base of the construction. The source of light is when the sun is directly overhead. This mirrors the spiritual intentions of the meetings that take place in the room. The anti-vibration soundproof system is achieved by the use of perforated wood acoustic panels placed on the ceiling and, partially, on the walls.  

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