Contemporary Churches

Today for history/sketching class we drove to the outer boundaries of Rome to take a look at a few contemporary churches.  This was a change from our normal classes which mostly revolve around classical architecture.  At each of the three churches, we were asked to enter the dimensions into our relative scale log as well as draw the fa├žade of each of the three churches.  We first visited the chiesa San Carlo Borromeo by Monestiroli Architetti Associati.  This church included a worship center as well as other units for community use. 

 We then went to chiesa San Pio da Pietralcino by Anselmo e Associati.  This church was designed by a rectangle of proportions 2 × 1.  At the center of the longer side of the rectangle is the altar, while the opposite wall, although shifted slightly to the east, is placed at the entrance. This position of the altar was placed in this way due to the changes made after the Second Vatican Council.  We all thought we were not going to make it to this church because the bus got stuck under a bridge because it was too tall.  

After the second stop we headed to our final destination,  Richard Meier’s Jubilee Church.  This church was built for Pope John Paul II’s millennium initiative to rejuvenate parish life within Italy.  The Church was built on a triangular site with a proportional structure complex based on a series of squares and four circles. Three circles with equal radii generate the outlines of the three concrete shells that, in conjunction with the spine-wall, make up the body of the nave. The three shells of the church denote the Holy Trinity and the reflecting pool symbolizes the role played by water in the sacrament of Baptism.  When we tried to look inside this church the Priest started to angrily yell at us to leave the church.  This was the first time any of us were asked to leave a church.  After the last church we piled onto the bus and headed back to the center of Rome.

-Christian Bernier & Dylan Gallagher