San Vigilio is a late 20th century parish church at Via Paolo Di Dono 218 in the suburb of Vigna Murata, to the east of the Laurentina metro station in the Ardeatino quarter.
The parish was set up in 1968. The permanent church was completed in 1990, by Lucio Passarelli with the collaboration of Franco Ferlito and Luca Leonori.
The church is an integral part of a much larger parish and social complex, sheltering under the same flat roof.
The plan of the church proper is based on a square, with the major liturgical axis on a diagonal. The main entrance, from the junction with the Via di Duccio di Buoninsegnia, has a lobby which leads to the near left hand side of this square next to its near corner. Located here is a circulation area, melding with the worshipping area off to the left and a wide corridor straight ahead leading to parish offices. A large meeting hall or aula is to the right.
Next to this church entrance is a so-called Cappella Madri, occupying a trapezoidal area which protrudes beyond the line of the side of the square.
The right hand side corner of the square has a ferial or weekday chapel, which is a rectangular area not distinguished structurally.
A side entrance in the far left hand side of the square has its own civic presence, and is easy to mistake for the main entrance.
Curving round the back of the church for somewhat more than a quarter circle is an unusual structure rather like a theatrum or ancient theatre, with seating in five rising steps. The curve in this feature actually has the main altar of the church as its focus, and is replicated by the pew seating in the church itself. The far corner of the church has glass sliding doors, so both outside and inside seating can accommodate one liturgical assembly in fine weather.
The fabric has a reinforced concrete frame. The exterior, where it is not abutted against by ancillary accommodation, has two horizontal zones. The lower one has the walling in tufo stone ashlar blocks of a honey colour, while the upper walling is in brilliant white concrete. This forms a very low parapet around the flat roof.
The upper side walls have round windows. Each has four larger ones in a row at the near end, and three much smaller ones at the far end. The right hand side wall has a further two of these little windows at its nearest end, over the ferial chapel.
The far corner, behind the altar, is recessed in its lower zone and is all in glass. As mentioned, the glass is in panels which can be slid back to open the sanctuary to the theatrum. The far right hand side wall here has a double concrete support pier, the two pier-units connected by horizontal struts. This design feature occurs elsewhere in the building.
The church altar used to be on a raised rectangular platform in grey stone, slightly offset to the right from the major axis. This platform used to protrude from the glass screens, but in a recent remodelling has been replaced with a larger circular one.
The side entrance is approached from the street via a path bounded by low white walls. The far left hand side wall has a recessed portion over it, and the line of the wall on the near side of the entrance is also slightly stepped back from that on the far side of the entrance recess.
The main frontage is set back slightly from the street, beyond a little paved piazza protected by bollards. On the far side of this is a fairly low screen wall in tufo blocks, which fronts an enclosed courtyard. The way in through the wall is a simple gap portal, and the wall on either side of this supports a huge white concrete canopy which runs from the actual entrance to the church behind, and protrudes substantially into the piazza with a floating front section. The profile of this canopy is a very shallow angled C, facing down.
Beyond the courtyard is another, higher tufo wall which marks the frontage of the church's lobby to the left and the aula to the right. The stonework of this wall is substantially different for these two zones -the left is in small horizontal blocks, while the right is in large vertical blocks. The latter has a row three huge rectangular window slots running from the roofline, which lights the aula. The former has a single open rectangular aperture into which a metal cross finial is inserted. This is probably necessary, otherwise you might not guess that this was a church.
On entering, the ferial chapel is on the far side straight ahead and the main altar diagonally to the left. Facing the latter are curved rows of pews on two descending levels separated by low stone slab screens.
The outstanding feature of the interior is the set of enormous vertical slab roof beams, which run across the roof parallel to the entrance wall. Each has a row of huge circular cut-outs in it, and these cut-outs align in the beams so that a steel rod, perpendicular to the beams, can be passed through each set from the far right hand side wall to the near left hand, entrance wall.
The surfaces are in white, including the floor.
The parish has not maintained its website. According to the Diocese, Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 9:00, 19:00;
Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:00 (not summer), 11:00, 12:00, 19:00.
Parish website (defunct in 2017)