San Giovanni Battista de La Salle al Torrino is a 21st century parish church at Via dell’Orsa Minore 59, in the suburban zone of Torrino to the south-west of EUR.
The patron saint is John Baptist de la Salle.
The parish was erected in 2000.
The church was designed by the partnership of Giuseppe and Alfonso Spina, and opened in 2009.
Layout and fabric Edit
The plan has two elements. The main body of the church has a U-shape, with the sanctuary in the curve. This is fronted by an irregularly shaped unit, consisting of the rectangular ferial chapel to the right and a triangular unit to the left which contains the entrance lobby -the actual entrance façade is hence at an angle to the church's axis.
The parish offices and ancillary accommodation is in a rectangular block running transversely to the left, with the right hand side abutting on the church.
The edifice is low, but stands on a crypt. The fabric has a reinforced concrete frame, with external walls in white photocatalytic concrete and restricted zones in pink brick. The roof is divided into two zones by a transverse beam, corresponding to the two elements in the plan just mentioned. The roof of the main church is flat, but that over the lobby and chapel slopes back from a shallow rectangular flat zone over the façade of the chapel. There is a large cylindrical skylight over the altar, with a glazed top that slopes forwards.
The walls protrude above roof level to provide a level parapet round the sides and back. The fenestration is irregular. The left hand side wall has a large horizontal rectangular window near the entrance, and the right hand side wall has four vertical slit windows inserted diagonally so as to throw light on the altar. Behind the altar are two right-angled triangular windows, the left hand one being smaller and the pair being separated by a vertical support frame pier.
Next to the right hand side wall is a tall tower campanile on a square plan. Four thin white square concrete piers support a flat platform just below their ends, which is the roof of the bell-chamber. Each side is infilled with blank pink brickwork up to the bell-chamber's floor.
Despite the address, the church stands well away from the Via dell'Orso Minore up a double driveway running through a car park with mature trees.
The façade has an irregular design, of four zones. From the left, the first zone is a completely blank pink brick wall set diagonally to the major axis. There follows the entrance foyer, which is an open trapezoidal space accessed by a flight of five stairs also set diagonally (a reminder that the church stands on a crypt). This space has a heavy concrete floating canopy, protruding slightly and with a deep diagonal fascia. The fascia bears a simple dedicatory inscription: D. O. M. in honore S. Ioannis Baptistae de la Salle, dic. A.D. MMIX.
The third zone is the frontage of the ferial chapel, which has an entrance to the right in the foyer. A pair of battered (sloping) piers flanks a recess containing fenestration in the form of a stained plate glass window depicting Christ the Redeemer and two saints. The fourth zone is a blank concrete wall, which is a free-standing extension of the right hand side wall of the church.
The interior is rendered in a cream colour, with the windows in clear glass.
To the right of the double right-angled triangular window behind the altar is a notable painting by Mario Caffaro Rore entitled San Giovanni con i Bambini. This was originally painted in 1960 at the institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools at Turin (the saint, who died in 1719, was their founder). However, they donated it to the new church and it has now been fixed to the semi-circular wall of the apse. It measures 65 square metres.
The church is open daily, 8:00 to 12:00.
Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 9:00, 18:30 (not July and August);
Sundays and Solemnities 9:00, 10:30 (not July and August), 12:00, 18:30 (19:00 July and August).
The church has the privilege of Perpetual Adoration, which is only interrupted by liturgical events. Outside normal opening hours, access is by entryphone at the ferial chapel entrance.