A stone cross, 40 meters tall and visible from the plain below, marks the location of the nave on the San Giovanni Redondo hill. A tree-lined avenue leads up to it, marked off by a large wall housing eight enormous bells. The church building is surrounded by trees and sits low and inclined on the triangular churchyard - a reception area that invites visitors to descend to the place of worship. The stone flooring and the absence of a façade - replaced by a simple glass front - are signs of continuity between the interior and exterior. The spiral-shaped nave tapers towards the bottom while large stone supporting arches form an open structure that holds up the roofing. Diffused lighting is provided by suspended fixtures that create a sort of vault-lowering effect. A strong beam of light on the alter draws all the attention to the officiant. At night the church is illuminated by projector lamps at ground level and by the interior light coming out of the glass windows. The large cross, the wall of the avenue leading to the church and the bells all help to make the location recognizable from afar.
San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia
St. Pio Pilgrimage Church
General indoor and outdoor lighting
w/ Renzo Piano Building