Santa Maria Goretti Church

Santa Maria Goretti Church

Architect
Mario Cucinella Architects S.r.l
Location
Mormanno, Province of Cosenza, Italy | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Churches
©Duccio Malagamba

Santa Maria Goretti Church

Mario Cucinella Architects S.r.l as Architects

Solitary, serene, and monolithic, the new parish church of Santa Maria Goretti rises from the northern edge of the Calabrian hill town Mormanno, commanding views of the mountainous Pollino National Park.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects the exterior of this elemental and sentinel-like building draws inspiration from natural forms as well as from the tradition of austere and beautiful apsidal Calabrian churches built by monks from the eastern reaches of the former Roman Empire escaping conquest and persecution. The result is an innovative church, dedicated to Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902) - the Catholic Church’s youngest saint - that, although a new building, appears to stand outside time.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

The church is entered through a tall incision made in one of its four white concrete apses, the entrance forming an external cross that, lit by night, is seen as a beacon, from afar. The numinous interior, lit diaphanously from above through folds of translucent fabric hung in the form of curvaceous drapes from the 16-meter-high ceiling, has been inspired by, on the one hand, a resolute focus on the eucharist and prayer and, on the other, by the geometries of Italy’s most compelling Baroque churches, among them Francesco Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, both in Rome.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

The commission for Santa Maria Goretti was won by Mario Cucinella Architects through 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. Reached by a dedicated paved road, the church forms a small new complex, including a new parish center also designed by Mario Cucinella Architects.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

This essentially orthogonal single-story, a large concrete-framed building containing a parish meeting room, church classrooms, and the priests’ house – all gathered around a central planted courtyard and under a living ‘green’ roof. The north side of the parish center features a scalloped roofline in dialogue with the four-leafed clover plan and form of the church. Clergy can enter the church from behind the altar through a sacristry concealed within its curved walls. Church bells are also concealed within the walls.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

Furniture in wood and steel by Mario Cucinella Design is minimal and austere to highlight the architectural and sculptural elements of the church interior. In addition to the constant play of daylight afforded by the veils hanging from the ceiling, on one day in the year - 6th July, the Feast of Saint Maria Goretti - a beam of sunlight shines directly on the crucifix set on the wall behind the altar.

photo_credit ©Duccio Malagamba
©Duccio Malagamba

Here, nature, art, architecture and religious faith, and symbolism work in spiritual harmony. The design and construction of the church are such that its energy use and need for maintenance are minimal. Moreover, 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.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion
19 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion

The largest project completed by Baumschlager Eberle Architekten in Europe to date, the new Montagne... More

Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing
17 May 2022 News
Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing

Only a few miles from the downtown area of Denver, this experimental co-housing project by Productor... More

Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx
17 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx

On a sloping site in the Austrian ski resort of Alpe Furx, this holiday and leisure development by B... More

Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting
14 May 2022 News
Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting

In the middle of the countryside at the highest point of the village of Ninove, Belgium, an existing... More

Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan
14 May 2022 News
Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan

In Milan, Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory project reinterprets an existing industri... More

Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture
14 May 2022 News
Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture

Located in the Alpine region of Madesimo, Italy, Baita MV by Luconi architetti comprises an extensio... More

OMA inverts theater typology by plugging three cantilevered theaters into a central cube
13 May 2022 News
OMA inverts theater typology by plugging three cantilevered theaters into a central cube

Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten see the Taipei Performing Arts Center as close as they have ever be... More

Top 10 Trending Armchairs
13 May 2022 News
Top 10 Trending Armchairs

Architects and designers use armchairs to complete spaces visually and functionally. Popular armchai... More