clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Vatican’s first Venice Biennale pavilion is a series of 10 chapels

Praise be to architecture

Rectangular metal chapel with benches
Sean Godsell’s chapel.
Laurian Ghinitoiu via ArchDaily

Holy architecture—the Vatican City’s first ever exhibition for the Venice Architecture Biennale is now open. The Holy See’s pavilion, appropriately named Vatican Chapels, showcases a series of 10 chapels designed by architects from around the world, including Norman Foster, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Andrew Berman.

Norman Foster’s chapel.
Laurian Ghinitoiu via ArchDaily

The experimental chapels sit outside of Venice on the wooded island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The brief asked architects to reinterpret the Woodland Chapel, a geometric structure designed by the Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund’s Woodland Chapel in the early 20th century. Naturally, the 10 architects each had their own take.

Terra cotta colored chapel
Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores’s chapel
Laurian Ghinitoiu via ArchDaily

Norman Foster designed an angular, open air chapel built from wooden slats, while Spanish architects Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores created a terra-cotta hued adobe structure that invites visitors into a warm alcove.

Aerial shot of chapels in forest
Aerial shot of the chapels in forest.
Laurian Ghinitoiu via ArchDaily

Symbolically, each of the chapels represent one of the Ten Commandments. Practically, they take on even greater meaning: At the end of the Biennale, the structures will be dismantled and rebuilt in Italian towns that have been affected by devastating earthquakes.

Check out all of the designs here.

Via: ArchDaily