The church of Santa Maria Goretti by Mario Cucinella Architects

14 Oct 2022

5 min



Designing a church is a message of continuity with the spirit of art that has passed unperturbed through the centuries of humanity.


——Mario Cucinella

教堂,神圣而庄严。是天与地的连结之处,是短暂与永恒的交融之所。MC A设计的Santa Maria Goretti教堂,宁静地矗立在意大利卡拉布里亚山城莫曼诺(Mormanno)的北部,俯瞰山峦起伏的波利诺国家公园(Pollino National Park)。

The Church, a sacred and solemn building, is the place where heaven and earth are connected, where transience and eternity interacted. The church of Santa Maria Goretti, designed by MC A, stands peacefully in the north of Mormanno, a mountain city in Calabria, Italy, overlooks the ridges of  the Pollino National Park.

傍晚全景,panorama at night ©Duccio Malagamba

流线型的建筑外观来源于自然,不规则的四叶草有机形态,同时呼应前罗马帝国东部地区,由逃避追捕和迫害的僧侣们建造的简朴而美丽的卡拉布里亚教堂。建筑线条蜿蜒伸展,极具雕塑般的立体感。是历史与自然的交织,打造出最具代表性的当代主义教堂,献给天主教最年轻的圣人玛利亚·葛莱蒂(Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902))。

The streamlined appearance of the church is derived from nature, the organic form of irregular four-leaf clover, as well as in dialogue with the tradition of austere and beautiful apsidal Calabrian churches built by monks from the eastern reaches of the former Roman Empire escaping conquest and persecution. The building with stretch line and  strong three-dimension like a sculptural. It is the interweaving of history and nature to create the most  innovative contemporary church, dedicated to Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902) – the Catholic Church’s youngest saint.

©Duccio Malagamba

God said, Let there be light

沿着场地东北侧的小径,一路俯瞰波利诺国家公园的壮观山脊。终点处,16 m 高的Santa Maria Goretti教堂犹如洁白优美的四叶草静静的绽放在半山,与周围景观融为一体。四片纯白色的花瓣构成教堂的四个内室,以简约曲线连结,形成对主礼拜空间的拥抱之势。巨大十字架状的教堂主入口,看似空间狭窄,实则是设计师利用弯曲线条带来的错觉。夜幕降临,十字架上的led灯亮起,建筑犹如一座为人们指明方向的灯塔,别有一番明净沉醉的景致。

Follow the trail on the northeast side of the site, overlooking the spectacular ridges of Pollino National Park. At the end, the 16-meter-high Santa Maria Goretti Church blooms quietly in the middle of the mountain like a white and beautiful four-leaf clover, blending with the surrounding landscape. Four pure white petals form the four inner chambers of the church, which are connected by simple curves to form an embrace of the main worship space. The huge cross-shaped main entrance of the church seems to have a narrow space, but it is actually an illusion brought by the designer using curved lines. When night falls, the LED lights on the cross light up, and the building is like a lighthouse that points the way to people, with a clear and intoxicating scenery.

©Duccio Malagamba

全景,panoramic view ©Duccio Malagamba

教堂入口,entrance of the church ©Duccio Malagamba

弯曲线条带来的错觉,illusion brought by the designer using curved lines ©Duccio Malagamba


The Bible, First Epistle of John says, “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.” “Light” is an important theme for religious emotional expression and atmosphere creation in church. There are not many windows inside the church, but the design cleverly introduces natural light, as if it is God’s revelation, to illuminate the interior. At the top of the church, a series of translucent veils, like scenic drapes, are arranged in a curvilinear arrangement to disperse the light. The central space with skylight, reverberating natural light through its folds in a play of reflections that harks back to the mystical spectacle of the Northern Lights, thus creating anintimate and collected atmosphere.

教堂内部,interior of the church ©Duccio Malagamba

©Duccio Malagamba


The inspiration of the design is inspired by the faithful prayers of believers. Also, it is inspiredby the geometries of some of the most beautiful Baroque churches, such as  “San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane” and  “Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza” in Rome.  On June 6, the date of death of the Saint to whom the Church is dedicated, a beam of sunlight shines on the cross behind the altar through a cleverly designed opening. Here, nature, art, architecture, religious faith and symbolism work in spiritual harmony, creating a unique spiritual realm for religious sites. Being in a church is appears to stand outside time.

©Duccio Malagamba

©Duccio Malagamba

天光经过褶皱反射,光影洒落墙面,natural light through the translucent veils’ folds in a play of reflections ©Duccio Malagamba

白色的外墙,镶嵌着意大利艺术家朱塞佩·马拉尼洛 (Giuseppe Maraniello) 的作品,由当地孩童以“苦路十四处”为主题创作的粘土砖。教堂内部陈设该艺术家创作的流线型雕塑作品,如圣母玛利亚雕像、圣水池等。室内家具由MC D(Mario Cucinella Design) 设计,简朴的设计旨在突出建筑和雕塑元素,与教堂构成一个有机的整体。室内墙壁采用混合大麻纤维和石灰的灰泥手工打磨而成。略带斑驳、大地色调的表面,营造宁静的平和感。

The white exterior walls are inlaid with the work of Italian artist Giuseppe Maraniello. They are the clay bricks created by the children of the local community with the theme of “Via Crucis”. The interior displays streamlined sculptures created by the artist, such as the figure of the Virgin Mary, the Holy water font, etc. The furnishings in wood and steel, designed by MC D – Mario Cucinella Design, have been deliberately conceived with a minimal and austere design, to highlight the architectural and sculptural elements, forming an organic whole with the church. The earth-toned interior walls are hand-finished with plaster mixed with hemp fibers and lime in slightly mottled to create a sense of serene peace.

©Duccio Malagamba

Parish complex

Santa Maria Goretti教堂南侧为新建的教区综合体,供教会和非教会社区内的所有居民使用。教区综合体由基础的十字平面变化而成,围绕中央绿色庭院布置活动室、教室和牧师宿舍等。屋顶采用绿色植被覆盖,美化环境、保护建筑结构层的同时,有效的增加了建筑节能效应。屋顶靠近教堂的北侧设计为扇形,与教堂的四叶草形式相呼应。而神职人员可从祭坛后方,通过隐藏于墙壁内的圣器室进入教堂。此外,教堂钟也隐藏在墙壁之内,柔和清亮的萦绕回响于教堂四周。

The south of Santa Maria Goretti is the new parish complex for all residents in community. The parish complex is transformed from a basic cross plane, with activity rooms, classrooms and priests’ dormitories arranged around a central green courtyard. The roof is covered with green vegetation to beautify the environment and protect the structural layer of the building, while effectively increasing the energy-saving effect of the building. The north side of the roof near the church is fan-shaped, echoing the four-leaf clover form of the church. The clergy can enter the church from behind the altar through the sacristy hidden in the walls. In addition, the bell is also hidden within the walls, and the soft and clear lingering echoes around the church.

屋顶靠近教堂的北侧设计为扇形,the north side of the roof near the church is fan-shaped ©Duccio Malagamba


项目将可持续目标与被动设计原则相结合,降低能源消耗,优化建筑性能。屋顶花园、中央庭院和有机种植花园构成建筑的绿色缓冲区,形成微气候,节约了被动室内降温所需的能源。采用自然通风和采光,最大限度地减少了空调和人工照明的使用。室内一系列悬挂在天花板上的金属面纱漫射自然光,避免环境中的眩光现象,为祈祷和冥想营造出温暖却有力的宗教空间氛围。多种节能技术的综合运用使Santa Maria Goretti教堂获得A级能源认证。夕阳归隐,夜幕降临;日复一日,年复一年。这个遗世绝美的小教堂,守望于山林间。谱写建筑、当代艺术与宗教的神圣对话,予人情感的归属和灵魂的庇护。

The project combines sustainability goals with passive design to reduce energy consumption and optimize building performance. Roof gardens, central courtyards and organically grown gardens form the building’s green buffer zone, creating a microclimate that saves energy needed for passive indoor cooling. The use of natural ventilation and daylighting minimises the use of air conditioning and artificial lighting. Inside, a series of translucent veils suspended from the ceiling diffuse natural light and avoid glare in the environment, creating a warm yet powerful religious space for prayer and meditation. The combined use of various energy-saving technologies has given  the Church of Santa Maria Goretti a Class A energy certification . The setting sun goes down, and night comes; day after day, year after year. This beautiful little church is guarded in the mountains and forests. Compose a sacred dialogue between architecture, contemporary art and religion, giving people emotional belonging and protection of the soul.

©Duccio Malagamba

©Duccio Malagamba

教堂和综合体平面,plan of the church and the parish complex © MC A

团队:Mario Cucinella, Luca Sandri, Alberto Bruno, Alberto Casarotto, Emanuele Dionigi, Enrico Pintabona, Michele Roveri
效果图: MC A; Engram
模型: MC A
艺术家: Giuseppe Maraniello
礼拜礼仪师: Don Amilcare Zuffi
结构工程: Milan Engineering
景观设计: Paolo Scuderi, Riccardo Giannoni
工程经理: Gaetano Leto
项目招标经理: Raffaele Boise
建设公司: Generali Costruzioni
天花顶棚: GiPlanet
摄影: Duccio Malagamba

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