mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

santa maria goretti church: distinctive yet timeless

 

natural forms and the curves of baroque architecture inspired mario cucinella architects‘ design of this organic-shaped church in italylocated in the calabrian hill town of mormanno, overlooking pollino national park, the new parish church of santa maria goretti also features a cross incision on the front façade and a four-leaf clover plan. 

 

the project was awarded to mario cucinella architects following a competition organized by the episcopal conference of italy (CEI), the national assembly of bishops. construction began in 2015 and has been completed this year. the religious building is dedicated to the catholic church’s youngest saint, saint maria goretti (1890-1902). 

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
images © duccio malagamba

 

 

informed by calabria’s austere byzantine churches, such as the UNESCO-inscribed cattolica monastery in stilo, the church is composed of four white concrete apses, which generate a distinct flowing shape. the rest of the church exterior is characterized by a few essential elements including a subtle entrance opening, an illuminated cross, and engraved words relating to the life of saint maria goretti.

 

the minimal exterior gives way to a surprising interior filled with translucent fabric hung from the 16-meter-high ceiling in the form of curvaceous drapes. this ethereal design element continues the flowing form of the architecture while filtering soft light down into the worshipping space.

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

 

for the furniture, mario cucinella design created simple podiums and seating in wood and steel that serve to highlight the architectural and sculptural elements of the church interior. on one day each year — the feast of saint maria goretti on july 6th — a beam of sunlight shines directly on the crucifix set on the wall behind the altar.

 

as well as creating a distinctive yet timeless building, mario cucinella also sought to forge a relationship between art and architecture, in dialogue with the sacred. reflecting the fluid shapes of the walls, artist giuseppe maraniello created a lectern, tabernacle, baptismal font and figure of the virgin mary in stone, bronze and mosaic.

 

‘designing a church is a message of continuity with the spirit of art that has passed unperturbed through the centuries of humanity,’  says architect mario cucinella. 

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

 

the church forms part of a small new urban complex, including a new parish center also designed by mario cucinella architects. this essentially orthogonal single story, large concrete-framed building, offering wide views across the pollino landscape, contains a parish meeting room, church classrooms and the priests’ house gathered around a central planted courtyard and under a living ‘green’ roof.

 

santa maria goretti church was designed for minimal maintenance and energy usage. the green roofs and the planted internal courtyards, as well as the organic garden in front of the rectory for 0-km cultivation, contribute to the sustainability of the project and serve the local community.

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

mario-cucinella-church-italy-designboom-22X

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy

 

 

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mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 
mario cucinella completes monolithic white concrete church in southern italy
 

project info:

 

name: santa maria goretti church

type: new construction, religious building

location: mormanno, italy

client: diocesi of cassano all’jonio

 

architecture: mario cucinella architects

architectural project group: mario cucinella (founder and creative director), luca sandri (project manager)

competition: alberto bruno, alberto casarotto

final project – executive: emanuele dionigi, enrico pintabona, michele roveri
virtual model / images: mario cucinella visual, bologna; engram, faenza, ravenna
physical model: mario cucinella architects

artist: giuseppe maraniello

liturgist: don amilcare zuffi

structural project: milan engineering

plant design: paolo scuderi, riccardo giannoni
works manager: arch. gaetano leto

manager procedure: raffaele boise

architectural project starting date: 2013

architectural project completion date: 2016

construction site starting date: november 2016

construction site completion date: february 2021
construction company: generali costruzioni
velario: giplanet

net area: 950 sqm

 

photography: duccio malagamba 

ARCHITECTURE IN ITALY (420)

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (206)

MARIO CUCINELLA ARCHITECTS (9)

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