San Arialdo Chapel
Velate, Varese, Italy / 2014
To understand the essential nature of the space.
San Arialdo is the name of a chapel located in Velate, a small town near Varese. The room, modest and simply furnished, was being used as a meeting place and prayer facility for a small group of Catholic worshippers. A person from the group felt the community would appreciate retaining the space and requested a project to re-qualify it. The aim of the project was to understand the essential nature of the space and rearrange it in order to give more emphasis to the quality of light coming from the windows on the south side. Large sliding panels covered with white cloth were constructed to model the rays of the sun during different times of the day, creating a consistent and beautifully lit nave in the direction of the alter. A wooden cross, designed and constructed by the artist Giorgio Vicentini, was placed of the wall behind the alter. Its shape echoes the tension of the crucifixion of Christ and serves as an admirable summary of the primitive and honest patronage the cross symbolises.