Wooden cross inside the Chapel at the Venice Biennale covered in gold leaves
Chapel at the Venice Biennale. The Christian cross becomes a structural element

Teronobu Fujimori designs one of the chapels for the "Vatican Chapels" exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The architect puts the wooden cross, a symbol of Christianity at the centre of his concept, making it a structural part of the building

12The Holy See is participating for the first time in the International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, by inviting ten internationally renowned designers to design ten spiritual places, such as the chapel designed by Teronobu Fujimori in collaboration with LignoAlp

Exterior of the Chapel at the Venice Biennale in dark wood

In this project LignoAlp has been able to make use of its great knowledge by engineering the project thanks to a great understanding with the designer and the common vision of wood as a sustainable, natural construction material and intended for the creation of unique and durable products

Exterior of the Chapel at the Venice Biennale in dark wood

Teronobu Fujimori's project starts from the study of Christian symbolism, which places the cross at the centre as a key element, unlike other religions, which present a multitude of symbols. The cross itself thus becomes the fulcrum of architecture, not only as a decorative or symbolic element but as an integral part of the architectural structure. The task is facilitated by the millenary construction tradition of Japanese wooden buildings, which are the result of the evolution of a structure made of beams and supports

Exterior of the Chapel at the Venice Biennale in dark wood

The cross covered with gold leaves rests on the ground to support the structure of the chapel and emerges from the contrast with the white plastered walls behind. Around the cross, pieces of charcoal have been incorporated into the plaster, which evoke the black that characterizes the exterior of the chapel in great contrast with the whiteness of the interior

Exterior of the Chapel at the Venice Biennale in dark wood

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