Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

21st Century Churches Continued - out in the far-flung suburbs of Rome


It's been awhile since RST wrote about 21st-century churches (our last post on this was last May), and we're sure our readers have noticed.  OK, so maybe you haven't, but we have.  So here we give you one of  two 21st-century churches, by the same architect, obviously a favorite of the Vatican, Roberto Panella.
The asymmetrical and dramatic interior of Santa Maria Stella dell'Evangellizazione.  Lots of white, stained glass,
windows, but also a wood ceiling - the church as Christ's ship?

Isolated by roads, and perched in a corner lot.

It wasn't easy to get to Santa Maria Stella dell'Evangellizazione (translated by Wiki Churches of Rome as Our Lady, Star of Evangelization ), because it is nestled, or crowded, into a small, oddly shaped space midst wide roads and soaring apartment building in the modern southwestern extension of EUR.  We scootered out here after seeing, yet again, because Bill really wanted to, the not very interesting church (say I) that dominates EUR's skyline.

The neighborhood - the view from the church.
How the church fits on the lot.
Again, it's one of the "50 for Rome" churches, and was completed in 2006 to serve the burgeoning suburban population.  One source says it replaced "a totally inadequate hut."  The church's Web site (which has nothing on the architecture nor any pictures of the church!) states the parish was founded in 1989, when there already were thousands of people living in the area, inadequately served by a
church.  Today there are, says the parish, between 15,000 and 18,000 inhabitants in the parish.  Keeping a parish priest has been no mean feat, according to the parish Web site.

Moving from sociology to architecture, the church is noted for its asymmetrical shape, and overwhelming use of white - no doubt the influence of Richard Meier's magnificent and iconic Jubilee Church in another far-flung Rome suburb (Tor Tre Teste).  In fact, architect Panella, it's said, likened the roof to a billowing sail.  Sails also feature in Meier's 2003 (a couple years late for the Jubilee) church.


Interesting use of grass - yes, it's real.
There is no information on the decorations of the church, which also are notable, including the use of stained glass, openings created for light - one in the shape of a cross.  And, there is a fair amount of real grass and plants used in the various church adornments, such as the baptismal.















We also note the addition of a neon star (Santa Maria Stella, obviously) that likely was not in the architect's plans.

More photos below.  Dianne
Baptismal

The confessionals are old-fashioned.

The campanile looks as if rising from EUR-like
fascist columns

More of a sense of modernism in some views.

Room for a soccer field.

From the church front to the high rises.

Interesting Stations of the Cross; no information on the
artist.

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