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  • Without Clichés

    Resurrection Church, Rennes, France

    Architect: Álvaro Siza
    Text: Vilmos Katona
    Photos: Joao Morgado

    The large-scale development of Rennes was managed by Jean-Pierre Pranlas-Descours French architect who contacted Álvaro Siza in 2009 to ask him to design an ecclesiastic centre for the quickly growing village. A central spatial organisation appeared to be the best choice for the consecration of the profane site, which was also inspired by the neighbouring residential block. Siza evokes the geometric completeness of a circle drawn into a square with the designs of the church. He did not only create perfection but also imperfection with it using concrete, which was the most appropriate material as it is the most sculpturesque too. Cement was coloured in itself white, so that they can visibly bear and preserve the imprints of louvre panels. Contained in a system of right angles, the lower rooms integrate a large-size events hall, a kitchen and two offices. Viewed through the wide windows of the ground floor, the sight of the town easily enters the building, which is not true for the upper floor. The atmosphere of the introverted room is introduced by Siza by using unique furniture of oakwood, walls and floors clad in marble, as well as a broken-line rail staircase with handicraft details. Formal reduction paired with high quality materials come into focus to define the church space. Between its four stubby corners there is a slightly retracted cylinder wall hiding, which is completed with an apse-like addition on the east side. Compared to this composition strikingly closed at the top, the free-standing campanile with a blade wall appears as if it was the work of a different architect, but this kind of tension is counteracted by some masterly led brackets. The corner projections of the western facade are finished by slanting stair sheets, whereas the apse floats above the yard.

    Architect: Álvaro Siza
    Fellow architects: Rita Amaral, Avelino Silva, Clemente Menéres, Ana Silva, Cristina Ferreirinha, Maria Souto Moura
    Structure: David Chambolle – EVP Bureau d’ingénierie des structures
    Acoustics: Julien Sullerot – Acoustique Vivié & Associés
    Landscape: Atelier Bruel & Delmar
    Lighting: Alexandre Martins – GPIC