This project faces the task of creating a contemporary parish complex build on the grounds of an exiting church and inside an university campus. The initial idea of the project was to make PUBLIC SPACE the fil rouge of the design principles. Public space is all its forms, whether covered or not, connected to the street or more sheltered, elevated or at the ground floor. Public space that could be used by neighbors, parish worshipers and students from the university campus. The theme of the parish was to be developed through a protected space, a main vessel that would be surrounded in plan and height by public spaces, a world having its own streets, squares, and courtyards, a micro-cosmos independent, yet connected to the area.
Of principal importance in this project was to play with the current conditions of the space, TO INVERT the current hierarchy of open spaces and transform the present back façade into the main side of the project, in order to better link it to the Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci. By freeing the ground floor, the flow of people is directed to a series of platforms and ramps through which one accesses the complex. The ground floor allows this flow but also provides a more static space of rest that is dug into the soil. This triggers the interest of the external visitor who sees a compressed space from the outside and discovers a wider one once he enters the system.The project is composed of different concentric layers, like an onion, first the mesh, then the ring, then the void and finally the spiritual core, which is the sun of the surrounding galaxies. The idea of a floating system is merged with the concept of a series of boxes inserted one into each other, the initial extrusion of the plot, then the liturgy hall and finally the weekday chapel. The topic of visual FILTERING is also studied through the wrapping of the elevated complex into a perforated mesh that allows to shelter the public spaces from the outer surrounding, while maintaining a connection with it. The back elevation is the exception to the rule and it combines the mesh with the religious façade framed by a portal. Still in the theme of visual filtering, structural PORTALS connected to the ground allow to frame the views of the visitor and to make the project recognizable yet discrete for the neighborhood. Once on the platforms one reaches the spacious parvis and sees the extrusion of the weekday chapel which completely hides and protects the main entrances to the church. The visitor can access the church by passing through a completely glazed ring and then in the hall which mainly draws light from skylights placed on either side of the church. The external frames are inserted into the internal walls and the upper beams rhythm the space of the liturgy hall. The parish activities are placed in a surrounding three-storied L-shaped ring which is separated from the spiritual core by a transitional void that is the extension of the ground floor public space. From this semi-public and semi-religious space, one can look downstairs through light wells which bring light to the covered piazza.
The project is composed of different concentric layers, like an onion, first the mesh, then the ring, then the void and finally the spiritual core, which is the sun of the surrounding galaxies. The idea of a floating system is merged with the concept of a series of boxes inserted one into each other, the initial extrusion of the plot, then the liturgy hall and finally the weekday chapel. In this way we want to introduce a new experience of this space, a holy experience of discovering each layer (box of space) the further the visitor goes deeper into the complex, while on the exterior all this cannot be perceived through the unifying mesh facade.
This project part of a group collaboration of my dear friends Kamelia, Margot and Kejin, with whom I collaborated severally during my university years and helped grow each other professionally.