Julius Grün, Emil Haffner, Pan Hu, Chris Soltysiak @ School Karlsruhe institute of technology [Competition Archmedium Rome Contemporary Chapel]
A place in the city, disconnected from the city, connected to its history, disconnected from its beliefs.
The chapel of San Filippo Neri is a space with potential. Getting rid of all religious symbols, the chapel is emptied, as it has been done in the past. New materials and openings emphasize its spatial qualities. Outside the decoration and ornament is kept. Therefore the access is relocated, changing the perception of the space in relation to its representation and structure.
A perimeter wall is added to the remaining wall to define the urban surrounding, restoring Via Giulia on one side and completing the piazzetta on the other side. The wall contains a building with all necessary functions as well as it forms an intimate patio, which serves as an atrium. The entrances to the patio are in an aligned sequence to the new park, giving it a public relation despite its introverted character.
Who influences you graphically?
We were mainly Influenced by Italian Neoclassicism, especially Antonio Donghi, who we discovered during the research for our project. Another significant inspiration was the paintings from Giorgio de Chirico of his metaphysical period, particularly his repertoire of motifs, and his use of shadow, to pruoduce a transcendental expression. Triptychs also played an important role in our composition of the images.
What is your take on the architectural competition? To what extent does it confine and or liberate?
We decided to maintain and reuse the chapel of San Filippo Neri, instead of building a new one. As consequence we were very confined from the beginning. But in a certain way this helped us to avoid any arbitrary decisions, as there was a clear framework.
What dictated the selection of images through which you reveal the project? How important are the montages compared to the floor plan ?
For the inside images we chose to reveal the spatial arrangement produced by our structural intervention. This indicates new and ambiguous narratives for the chapel. In comparison, the outside images were selected to express the contextual thoughts of the project, as well as showing everyday life taking place. The images should create an atmosphere that a plan could not convey. Nevertheless the floor plan is crucial for the spatial understanding as a whole.
What is your take on the architectural silhouette? What defined the borrowing of these from the realm of art?
By only showing fragments of the silhouette we tried to create a imaginary picture, where the missing parts are subliminal reconstructed. In fact we were subconsciously influenced by these depictions from art, which we realized only after.
Could you talk us through your work process and how you approached the competition and distributed the work amongst you within the team?
In the beginning we were discussing and researching about the typology and the place. After a short time, all of us were convinced by the idea of preserving the old chapel of San Filippo Neri and reassembling the urban fabric. From that point on we worked a lot on the plan, while simultaneously looking for images, that could be related to the history of the place and our intentions. The collages started to became a logical assembly of work.