the first images have been unveiled of the vatican’s debut at the venice architecture biennale. curated by francesco dal co and micol forti, the ‘vatican chapels’ are a series of structures, which, together, form the holy see pavilion. the projects take the form of eleven chapels built on a densely wooded area of san giorgio maggiore island. beginning with a reinterpretation of erik gunnar asplund’s ‘woodland chapel’ by MAP studio, the display includes ten other ‘temples of worship’ designed by architects such as eduardo souto de moura, carla juaçaba, and norman foster (see designboom’s previous coverage here).

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
all images by alessandra chemollo

 

 

the first photographs from the 16th international architecture exhibition document the ‘asplund chapel’, designed by MAP studio and built by ALPI. conceived as a prelude to the exhibition, the structure displays asplund’s architectural drawings for the original woodland chapel — located at skogskyrkogården cemetery in sweden. measuring just 33 square meters, the pavilion refers to both the architecture of the cemetery and the appearance of cabins in natural settings.

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
the re-imagined ‘woodland chapel’ was designed by MAP studio and built by ALPI

 

 

11 meters in length and 8 meters in height, the chapel is entirely covered with wood. to clad the building, ALPI developed an experimental material made from more than 9,000 wooden shingles. meanwhile, the intimate and welcoming interior is completely covered with xilo 2.0 striped white, a material developed with the help of italian architect and designer piero lissoni.

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
the chapel’s interior is covered with a material developed with the help of piero lissoni

 

 

elsewhere, a pavilion designed by francesco cellini has also been revealed. realized with materials from ceramic specialists panariagroup, the structure comprises two interlocking volumes that contain areas of seating as well as two key liturgical elements specified in the brief: a pulpit and an altar. the vatican says that it hopes the holy see’s presence will help heal the rift between the spiritual and the secular by transmitting ‘the traditional language of faith’.

 

stay tuned for the reveal of the other vatican chapels, and follow designboom’s ongoing coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale here.

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
another pavilion has been designed by italian architect francesco cellini

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
the two interlocking volumes contain key liturgical elements

holy see pavilion vatican chapels
the structure was realized with materials from ceramic specialists panariagroup

 

 

venice architecture biennale golden lion

designboom’s coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale is in partnership with leading energy company edison. edison is taking part in the 16th international architecture exhibition of la biennale di venezia by initiating a path towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources. the collaboration between edison and la biennale is based on awareness that energy is one of the fundamental elements of architecture and of the places, spaces and cities of contemporary life.

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