Church of the Autostrada, Florence, Italy

  • Date
    7/11/2013 (creation)
Related people
Addison Godel (was created by)
Giovanni Michelucci (was created by)
"To explain the meaning of this, his most famous work, Michelucci recalls, citing a letter by Saint Paul, how the life of man on earth is similar to that which takes place under a tent: the whole world is a precarious shelter that hosts the hope of our final home in heaven. The contrast between the tensile roof and the stone base of the enclosure is marked. With its extreme plasticity, the vast tent spans from volume to volume, covering the complex labyrinth of the interior, where circulation and level changes multiply and space flows among the branches of reinforced concrete pilasters that find their way to the ground in myriad ways. Under the light, the curved stone walls and the folded skeleton of the concrete structure acquire emotionally expressionistic accents and a vibrant dynamism. A sort of underground city, petrified in its own contorions, is represented under the vast cover, which is tied to the ground by an elegant connector as if to save it from the dangerous effects of the wind. The temple of San Giovanni Battista is Michelucci's strongest expression of his refusal to use established typological configurations for his churches. Typology defines a use, codifies a function, embalms practices and values. Michelucci confronts all of this with the fluidity of his underground spaces, which are recomposed only by the vast sail of the cover, leaving the "use" unprescribed." -- Giovanni Michelucci: A Life One Century Long. (1992). Perspecta, 27: 111-113. Keywords: Italy, Firenze, ceremonial and/or religious structures, chiesa dell autostrada.
1960s (1960 - 1969)
copper and brass
stone and/or rock