In Calabria, the monolithic white concrete church stands out in its hilly natural context
Overlooking the Pollino National Park, the new parish church of Santa Maria Goretti is in the Calabrian hill town of Mormanno in the province of Cosenza. The Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), following a competition, awarded the project to Mario Cucinella Architects. Construction began in 2015 and has been completed this year. The church is dedicated to the youngest Catholic saint, Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902).
Santa Maria Goretti Church: construction began in 2015 and has been completed this year. Mario Cucinella Architects designed it to be a distinctive building within its context
Mario Cucinella Architects designed it to be a distinctive building within its context. The monolithic white concrete church features four white concrete apses. The main façade, which overlooks the new square of the church, is characterized by a few essential elements such as the subtle entrance opening, an illuminated cross incision. The layout has a flowing structure, which draws inspiration from the curves of Baroque architecture. It creates a monumental and dynamic appearance, in which the central space relates in different ways with the side chapels.
Artifacts have been conceived by taking into account the overall architectural concept and the specific interior spaces they enrich. The idea is to make art and architecture coexist without compromising their autonomy. For this purpose, the interior decorations make extensive use of traditional materials like marble, bronze, and mosaic creating an interplay with the innovative architecture. A surprising characteristic is the translucent curvaceous drapes hung from the 16-meter-high ceiling. This ethereal design element filters soft light down into the worshipping space. Indeed, thanks to the application of passive design principles, the building makes the best use of available natural resources. Natural ventilation and lighting enable minimal maintenance and energy usage.
Ilona Catani Scarlett