Archetype of Memory

Renovation of a chapel


AUTHORS: Enrico Capanni, Enrico Lamacchia
PLACE: Giovanni in Castellare, Italy
YEAR: 2018
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM [2]: @enricolamacchia


Identity image, visual-geographical reference, architecture memory: these are the three values ​​attributed to the church of S. Giovanni in Castellare.

From this starting point, the project follows a binary path that is at the same time able to take on the symbol as an architectural memory that the community attributed to the building that was there before and to maintain the link with the territory.

The theme of memory is dealt with on a compositional level, maintaining the model of the cabin and the rectangular scheme, to evoke the archetypal language that guarantees the universal recognition of this church.

The square and the triangle create a volume designed to work with indirect natural light, with its ordered relationships.

The new building appears as a solid excavated in the volume of the previous church, as an architecture memory. The hall opens where the different slopes of the internal and external slope build a thickness interrupted only behind the altar, flooded with natural light.

The façade instead has a circular opening above the entrance that alludes to a rose window but being plugged it diverts the light into two symmetrical side niches where the confessional and the holy water stoup are located.

As for the original location, while maintaining the orientation and the same axis, the church has moved back a few meters to allow the organization of a space that is suitable for hosting various outdoor activities.

The entrance to the area is moved to the north behind the volume, to form a spectacular entrance hall between the church and the rocks, to evoke a visual cone towards the landscape and the sky that leads to the white cross that is located there.

A sort of “open-air room” is thus formed, arranged on two levels: the churchyard and a raised terrace of two steps from which you can enjoy the view.

The path that leads to the top from the valley is easily understood in the use of the material that follows an itinerary from the rugged to the refined. The basement and the entrance staircase are made with raw concrete obtained from local aggregates; from this the visitors’ steps meet the rungs and then the floor, made with verrucano slabs, which penetrate the church from the outside and rises to the light, thanks to the smooth white plaster.


Enrico Capanni is currently studying at the University of Florence, Faculty of Architecture. Architecture and what concerns it is its daily bread; but the drawing (physical or digital) is the only art that can really express a specific idea, a particular concept.



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