Competition by invitation for SS Patroni Martiri of Selva Candida Church, Rome, 2000

The competition for SS Patroni Martiri of Selva Candida Church has been a stimulating opportunity to design the pilot project of a new church and the adjacent areas, such as the home of the parish priest and the pastoral rooms.

The area is located at the center of a mixed density area between Selva Candida, mostly consisting of detached houses, and Foresta Nera, apartment houses built in areas of 167.

The competition is both a pilot project for the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), and the attempt to trace the design guidelines to redevelop the suburbs.

The idea of the project is to create an axis at 45° to serve as a hinge to the two different areas.

The axis of the project is designed to penetrate the area and trace a pedestrian path inside. The same axis is used to rejoin the inhabitants of Selva Candida on the one hand and the Black Forest on the other, around the church square.

The second idea of the project is the organizing grid. The square module is 28x28 m, which generates the square, the church, a small amphitheater. The 4x4 m sub-module generates the portico, the bell tower, the grid for the classroom. The rotations of the grid generate the courtyard around the parsonage, the liturgical spaces, such as the baptismal font.

The materials are designed taking as reference the urban surroundings: the brick, the finished concrete, the roof, the bell tower, the green. Those urban materials aren't exceptional, but the materials of everyday life in Rome and here are placed in contrast to the two innovative elements of the suburbs, which are the'amphitheater and the continuous glass facade of the church.

Regarding the flooring, the general idea is a contrast between white and black, between the travertine and the porphyry stone.

The contribution of an artist has been fundamental to the representation of the sacred figures: the marble sculpture of Christ, the painting of the Madonna and the Via Crucis designed in marble.