Madonna delle Grazie Parish Complex

Dec. 18, 2021

Pfarrkomplex Madonna delle Grazie

by Sara Costi

A silent language, a symbolic reading representative of the universal harmony expressed through the volumetric definition of space and the composition of the shapes. In the design project for the Madonna delle Grazie Parish Complex of the Diocese of Lodi in Dresano, entrusted to the architects Vincenzo Corvino and Giovanni Multari, the central feature of the entire construction is the perfection of the geometric shapes, an unchanging aspect that conceals complex meanings.

The architectural design of the parish complex derives from as composition of two basic geometric shapes: the circle - the purest of elements, symbolising the spirit and the immortal nature of the soul, on which the church itself is built - and the rectangle of the base, symbolising definition, delineation and the joining of the four compass points, featuring a central cloister around which the other parish buildings are arranged. The base of the complex, covering the entire construction lot from east to west, is formed by a single level, featuring a woven structure in reinforced concrete that allows the necessary amount of light to filter through to the spaces inside.

Design drawings - Madonna delle Grazie Parish Complex
Design drawings - Madonna delle Grazie Parish Complex

The church is composed of two concentric cylinders: an inner, lower element where mass is held, with the pews converging towards the chancel, and a taller, outer element that allows natural light into the church and forms an ambulatory that runs right around the place of worship and forms the perimeter that closes off the construction. This latter space hosts the chancel, the tabernacle, the baptismal font and the confessional. The position of the chancel, at the end of the sequence formed by the parvis-door-chamber-apse, adds another fundamental symbolic element to the central focus of the circular ground plan: the axiality of the space, culminating in the large statue of the Crucifixion, sculpted by Nino Longobardi.

The rigorous, sacred nature of the place is also expressed in the choice of the flooring: the 60x120 cm and 30x60 cm porcelain stoneware tiles from the Marte collection, in the colour Thassos and with a natural finish.

Flooring: Marte Thassos - Photo: Studio F64/Paolo Cappelli, Maurizio Criscuolo
Flooring: Marte Thassos - Photo: Studio F64/Paolo Cappelli, Maurizio Criscuolo
Flooring: Marte Thassos - Photo: Studio F64/Paolo Cappelli, Maurizio Criscuolo
Flooring: Marte Thassos - Photo: Studio F64/Paolo Cappelli, Maurizio Criscuolo
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