YEAR 2014
THEME Architecture, Sacred spaces, Church
STATUS Project
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM  Luca Cardani

The body of the church is composed of two parts that must be closely related to each other. On the one hand, the community that participates in a rite and on the other hand, the Eucharist that is the essence of that rite. Both parts must have their own strong presence and a definite place designated for them. Now, two assumptions can be made: one that the altar should be inside the area of the assembly, and the other that it should be outside of it and with it should establish a strong and mutual relationship. In this case I worked on the second assumption and became convinced that the two parts of the church should maintain their own different identity and the places where they are located their own, proper, character. The place of the altar must be the hub of the whole system, the place toward which everyone turns their attention and toward which the assembly moves. It must be a place immediately recognizable as the center of all relationships.

A place lit by zenithal light, not so much for symbolic reasons but because the zenithal light makes it recognizable as the main place of the church. After all, the church is built on the relationship between the members of the assembly, united in a community, and the altar. If the places of worship are facing each other, the church as a whole becomes the place of encounter: of men and women with each other and with the Eucharistic rite. St. Augustine’s pairing of beauty and truth stands to indicate that without the knowledge of the true, the beautiful does not appear. On the contrary, we can say that the search for the beautiful goes together with the knowledge of the true. We must know the truth of the Church if we want to attain its beauty.
And here I want to mention the problem of the relationship between form and liturgy, which is the same as the relationship between form and function. By now we know that it is not the function that determines the form of a building, or even vice versa, but that the form of a building must be representative of its meaning. So it is also with the church, where liturgical rule is important and necessary but not sufficient. To know the truth of the church it is necessary to go beyond any particular rule. It is that truth that will shape the church. (AM)


L. Cardani (edit by) Studio Monestiroli  Opere e progetti di Architettura Electa Milan 2021