Firenze edge_ Chiesa dell’Autostrada

After Villa Celle and the city of Pistoia, we started back towards Castiglion with a major stop on the west side of Florence.  The Church of the Autostrada is a piece of modern architecture in Italy known for its parabolic concrete roof shapes and angular tree-like concrete supports.  In 1960, the architect Michelucci was commissioned to design a church dedicated to the workers who had died during the construction of Italy’s interstate system, the Autostrada.  The church is located half way between Milan and Rome.  His architectural idea for the church was as a microcosm of a city, one unit that would be defined in meeting places (piazzas) hallways (avenues).  Such is the way of theory in architecture.  Everything is a city, or everything is the human body, or everything is a machine.  Sometimes its just about money, but we have plenty of those from the 70s through 90s showing us how “beautiful” money can be. In case its needed, I should point out how disturbing these are, I hate them, and was joking.  So it can be somewhat refreshing to see a building that stands for something more than the social standard, fittingly a religious monument to highway workers.  If you look closely, the concrete formwork is made of lumber with knot holes and imperfections.  Personally, it made me wonder how the feeling of the structure would change if done in the wood it was formed with, and with the angular structure in exposed rusted steel sections.

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Interior, large worship hallP1090951

Composite of hall, stichedAutostrada interior

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avenueP1090974

Hall from balconyP1090978

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ExteriorP1100008

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