Pavilion of the Holy See, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

Commissioner: Cardinale Gianfranco Ravasi

Curators: Francesco Dal Co, Micol Forti

Images: 1/2: Sean Godsell, 3: Smiljan Radic, 4: Javier Corvalán

Vatican Chapels is the Vatican’s contribution for its first ever presence at the Architecture Beinnale in Venice.

The theme of the chapel as a place of orientation, encounter, meditation and salutation was suggested to ten architects who were invited to design and build a chapel in a wooded area at one end of the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The chapels created by the architects are arranged in

„an utterly abstract natural setting, marked only by its presence on the lagoon, its openness to the water“

as curator Francesco Dal Co explains, emphasizing the unique, original character of the initiative that has granted the architects complete freedom to design

„without any reference to commonly recognized canons.“

Inside the chapels, the shared fulcrum and identifying, unifying feature is represented by the presence of the altar and the lectern.

images: Carla Juacaba

The Choice of the ten invited architects was based on the decision to focus on designers capable of applying different expressive languages, all strong characters from the standpoint of constructive experimentation, belonging to different generations:

Andrew Berman (USA)

Francesco Cellini (Italy)

Javier Corvalán (Paraguay)

Ricardo Flores, Eva Prats (Spain)

Norman Foster (UK)

Terunobu Fujimori (Japan)

Sean Godsell (Australia)

Carla Juacaba (Brazil)

Smiljan Radic (Chile)

Eduardo Souto de Moura (Portugal)

Title images: left: Ricardo Flores, Eva Prats / right: Javier Corvalán