In the city of Bergamo at the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy can be found an exceptionally beautiful chapel that leaves visitors breathless. Simple and stylish on the outside, the chapel conceals a small paradise in which each individual detail has been painstakingly thought out. Construction of the chapel was completed last summer. It forms part of a hospital dedicated to Pope Saint John XXIII and was designed by French architect Aymeric Zublena together with Italian architects Pippo and Ferdinando Traversi. The chapel was consecrated on the feast day of Saint John XXIII, 11 October 2014, which was also the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
This contemporary church makes a strong architectural statement while creating a peaceful space for prayer and contemplation. The minimalist interior features light wood and warm white precast concrete walls with the GCArt&Design™ pattern. Designer Stefano Arienti took his inspiration from the Garden of Eden, as reflected by the flowers, plants and shrubs that are repeated in the pattern. The floral imagery was realised using delicate rasterised images and a dedicated concrete mix-design, creating an overall impression that is light, airy and calm. The natural light that enters the chapel through round openings in the walls and in the ceiling completes the breathtakingly beautiful effect.
“Graphic concrete was an excellent choice in terms of both the theme and visual appearance of the building, as well as from the artistic and economic perspective. The creation of this unique building required precise image processing, rasterising, manufacturing and installation of the large panels,” comments Ivo Allas, Design Director of the Styl-Comp Group, which was responsible for the precast concrete engineering and production. “This amazing chapel is a true piece of architectural art where everyone can experience enlightenment,” Allas continues.
The success of the chapel’s architecture has made an impression not only on visitors and those involved in the project, but also among international architects. In February 2015 the chapel was recognised at the Surface Design Awards in London, winning not only the category Public Building Interior Surface but also the Supreme Award, the highest recognition.
The chapel is definitely worth visiting, not only for religious contemplation but also to experience its beauty.
Location: Piazza OMS, Bergamo, Italia Architects: Aymeric Zublena and Traversi+Traversi Architetti Artist: Stefano Arienti Precast Concrete Engineering and Production Specialist: Styl-Comp Group Construction year: 2012 Product: GCArt&Design