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Locatoin: Rome, Italy
Year: 1996
The pilgrimage church occupies a special place in the development of ecclesiastical space. The pilgrimage was a therapy though space. The idea of distance symbolized needs which were unsatisfied; the pilgrimage expressed a yearning for intimacy. The architectural effect of these inverted desires and conditions was found in many pilgrimage churches, which sharpened the sense of desire and fulfillment by playing out the pilgrimage in miniature, within the body of the church itself.

Today, air travel and media are collapsed the distance of the pilgrimage and created universal access to its experience. The church itself must provide the pilgrim’s experience of distance and proximity. In our project the nave becomes symbolic of proximity and distance with its two side aisles, or two routes, providing passage as in a pilgrimage space of communion. These passages, on either side of the roofless central nave, are enclosed, heightening the contrasts of light and shadow, space and mass to express the distant mystery of the sacrament. Thus, the church becomes two routes, one secular and the other the ecclesiastical route through the space of communion.

From the Middle Ages to the gothic cathedral, the church mediated between the celebrant of the Mass and the congregant. Today we are seeing a cultural shift from a world in which technology and its mechanisms were the mediators to one in which information is becoming the new mediator between God, man and nature. How does the church sort through this information to relay its religious message?

In the Gothic cathedrals stained glass was a major form of media. Our church introduces a contemporary form of “stained glass”: a media wall in each side aisle that can be seen from the aisles and the outdoor nave. The media walls allow light and image to penetrate the body of the church and allow everyone to witness the sacraments during large assemblies. The media wall is made up panels of liquid crystals, which are also the iconography of the church.



Model photos