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Cappella dei Chierici di San Viatore is a later 20th century ex-convent chapel at Via della Sierra Nevada 60 in the EUR.

The chapel seems to be deconsecrated.

Location Edit

Despite the importance of the architect, this is a very obscure chapel and online sources are misplacing it. It is next to the gate at number 60, not at number 130 which was the address of the Clinica Villa Gini. The latter was the location of a private and illegal abortion clinic run by a family of criminals, and is now demolished.

History Edit

The Clerics of Saint Viator (CSV) were founded at Lyon, France, in 1831 by Fr Louis Querbes. Their patron, St Viator of Lyons, was a 4th-century catechist of that city. The founder's motivation was to address the local lack of availability of schools in the chaotic aftermath of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and so to provide properly trained priest-teachers.

The institute spread in France from its origins in Lyons, then to Canada and later to the United States and now has provinces and missions all over the world.

A new Generalate (headquarters) was established in Rome in 1967 in response to this international status, the architect being Attilio Lapadula. He designed a chapel next to the street gateway, so some sort of public ministry seems to have been envisaged (the local parish of San Gregorio Barbarigo was established in 1964, but only obtained its permanent church six years later).

Unfortunately, the institute has declined in numbers since then and the Generalate project proved over-optimistic. The complex was sold on at the end of the 20th century, and the Generalate moved to an unremarkable apartment block at Via Padre Angelo Paoli 41.

The complex was taken on by the Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco after its foundation in 2003, and when it moved on the premises devolved to Neomobile which is a high-tech telecommunications firm. The writer cannot find positive evidence for the chapel's deconsecration, but it is not listed by the Diocese as a place of worship. It is not in good repair.

Appearance Edit

The former convent has two long separate three-storey ranges, well away from the street and at an oblique angle to each other. They are linked by a sprawling single-storey entrance block, which abuts the separate chapel which is next to the street gate.

The chapel has a heptagonal (seven-sided) plan, stretched along the major axis with the odd angle at the entrance.

The fabric consists of a reinforced concrete frame, with infill walls in random ashlar blocks of vastly varying sizes and thicknesses. These are in an unfamiliar pinkish stone, not usual for Rome.

The design is dominated by a very steeply pitched concrete roof, in four pitches which rise from flat eaves occupying the four lateral sides of the heptagon. Pitches and eaves were covered in small red tiles, but these have been slipping off. The ridge-line is angled, sloping down forwards and backwards from its midpoint.

The gable ends of the roof are supported by a pair of huge concrete inverted-V beams at front and back, which are left exposed.

The side walls each have a window strip below the eaves. The back wall, behind the sanctuary, is infilled within the gable beam but seems to have a very narrow window strip in the angle. A pair of wide window strips are below the ends of the side eaves here.

The odd angle of the heptagon, at the front of the chapel, is formed by a projecting triangular flat concrete porch which aligns with narrow infill walls on either side. Above, the gable is filled with a huge stained glass window.

External links Edit

Congregation's web-page

Info.roma web-page (both address number and name are wrong.)

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