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Santa Maria della Presentazione al Quartaccio

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Santa Maria della Presentazione al Quartaccio is a 21st century subsidiary parish church at Via Thomas Mann 20 in the suburb of Quartaccio which is part of the Trionfale suburban zone.

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the aspect of her Presentation.

(Also see Santa Faustina Kowalska and Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore a Mazzalupo.)

History Edit

The church was opened in 2002, as part of a sports and social complex designed by Nemesi Studio with the supervising architect being Michele Molè. Contemporary descriptions describe it as one of the fifty new "Jubilee Churches" promised by the Diocese to celebrate the year 2000.

At present the church is subsidiary to the parish of Santa Faustina Kowalska and, very oddly, has no listing in the diocesan website either as a church or as a dependent chapel.

The rumour is that something has gone wrong here, and that the church is not regarded as "user friendly". There is a complete lack of the usual devotional items that you expect to find in a Roman church and, apparently, not much liturgical activity.

Overall structure Edit

The church is part of a larger sports and social complex (Centro polifunzionale) located at the end of a dead-end street, on a semi-circular site that slopes away from the street boundary which occupies the diameter. The complex has two main units, which are conjoined. A flat-roofed sports hall on a rectangular plan occupies the right hand side.

The main edifice, to the left, is a fantastically designed and quirky hi-tech construct, sheltering under an enormous free-standing canopy roof supported by thin cylindrical steel columns and which overshadows part of the sports hall. This metal roof has single shallow pitches running up from the front and right hand edges, meeting at a diagonal ridgeline running from the bottom right hand corner. However, the left hand and far edges form shallow gables, and the ridge changes to a gully ending in the top left hand corner. The underside of the roof is in square polished metal panels.

A cross finial in metal rods stands on the far edge, the only sign that there is a church here.

Below the roof are several disparate architectural elements assembled like a gigantic sculptural assemblage. There are two levels, the top one at the street level and the lower one exploiting the slope of the site. The latter level contains the church proper.

The entrance is in a blank-walled cube revetted in brown stone slabs, which is inserted at an angle under the roof. It is actually the top of a stairwell shaft which takes you down to the lower level, and the church

To the left of this is the parish office suite, elevated on thinner metal columns and occupying a horizontal rectangular metal sleeve with its front end diagonally cut. This contains a large window, set well inside. The outer left hand frontage, to the left of this, is marked by a metal grid containing horizontal rectangles filled with mesh, and this feature continues around the back of the edifice.

The entrance cube, the rectangle and the sports hall are connected with each other through the intervening void by means of elevated walkways.

One quirky design element is that several of the walls within the structure actually lean over.

Church Edit

The church does not advise itself externally as part of the structure, but if you look down from one of the walkways in the upper level you should spot a large concrete sphere. This is the sanctuary of the ferial chapel. The main worshipping area of the church is next to this, and actually is a multi-functional aula or meeting-hall from which the sanctuary can be screened by a moveable wall.

Surfaces are either in polished metal, or are white.

The ferial chapel is elliptical, bounded by two curving walls with the sanctuary sphere inserted into one end of the ellipse. This communicates with the nave of the chapel via a circular opening, cut through a screen of glass panes set into a metal grid of large rectangles which cuts off the far end of the ellipse. The sphere contains a simple stone block altar, and is dark within as there are no windows.

The main sanctuary has a leaning wall to its right hand side. The altar is very odd, being a green marble slab slightly elevated above the top surface of a rectangular metal frame. The right hand side of this frame is deliberately designed to look as if it is buckling.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated (information from 2010):

Weekdays 18:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 10:30.

The writer has received a comment that the weekday Mass might have been discontinued (2016).

External links Edit

Nemesi web-page

"Dailystorm" article

"Dibaio" article

Larry.amoroma blog-page

"divisare.com" web-page

"Uniroma" article on Nemesi

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