Graphic design by © Tassinari/Vetta
On the occasion of Holy See‘s first participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale, for the 16thInternational Architecture Exhibition (26 May – 25 November 2018), Electaarchitettura is publishing the catalogue of the Pavilion of the Holy See, VATICAN CHAPELS, on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The project, curated by Francesco Dal Co, is inspired by the Skogskapellet, the Chapel in the woods that the celebrated architect Erik Gunnar Asplund built starting in 1918 in the Stockholm Cemetery. To this small but highly eloquent masterpiece is devoted an exhibition space at the opening of the path displaying the model – made for the occasion – and reproductions of the original drawings.
The theme of a chapel as a place of orientation, meeting, mediation and greeting – as Gunnar Asplund called it – was proposed to ten architects from different backgrounds and bearers of the most diverse experiences, invited to design and build as many chapels in the tree-lined area at the end of the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Like Asplund’s Skogskapellet, the chapels that make up the Holy See Pavilion are also isolated and embodied in a completely abstract natural environment, characterized only by its emergence from the lagoon and its opening onto the water, a further metaphor of the peregrination of life. Vatican Chapels is thus a composite and widespread Pavilion, which can be walked through in stages on a journey that is, at the same time, a sort of spiritual pilgrimage, not just religious but also secular.
The catalogue edited by Francesco Dal Co, with texts by Gianfranco Ravasi, Francesco Dal Co and Elisabetta Molteni, documents in detail the whole process of designing and creating the Holy See Pavilion. Previously unpublished sketches, project drawings, photographs of the completed sites and chapels, as well as a photo shoot by Alessandra Chemollo and Ginevra Formentini, enable us to retrace the steps of this ambitious project.