Cappella di Villa del Rosario is a later 20th century clinic chapel at Via Flaminia 499 in the Tor di Quinto quarter.

History Edit

St Vincent Pallotti, the "Second St Philip Neri", was a native Roman priest who founded the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) in 1835 -their headquarters are at San Salvatore in Onda. He then went on to found a feminine branch in 1838, the "Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate" (Suore dell'Appostolato Cattolico). See Cappella delle Suore Pallottine for their first convent in Rome. They are familarly known as Pallottine in Italian.

In 1956, the congregation completed a major project for a clinic and nursing home (Casa di cura) on the Via Flamina, the architect being Luigi Racheli. The sisters remain in charge.

Exterior Edit

The Casa di cura is a huge, ugly multi-storey block, of little interest. However, the separate chapel is one of the best religious edifices of its period in Rome (there isn't too much competition). It still has a futuristic appearance, despite being over half a century old.

The plan is that of an oval, the shape of an egg cut lengthwise along a plane of symmetry. The broader end is the frontage, and the narrower end the sanctuary. The actual entrance is provided by a single-storey flat-roofed structure abutting on the right, in between the chapel and the main building, which is an extension of the glass-walled main entrance lobby.

Structurally, the chapel has three horizontal zones:

The bottom one is a wall in large, rough greenish masonry blocks laid randomly. This is fairly high at the front, but the top slopes down at each side to reach the ground either side of the sanctuary end. The wall has a strong inverse batter, that is it slopes outwards with height.

The top zone is the roof, an eye-catching curved white concrete cap looking exactly like half an eggshell. This overhangs the wall beneath, and reaches the ground behind the altar.

In between is a wide band filled with steel support beams arrayed in approximately fan-shaped groups within the curve of the plan. The voids between these are filled with glass, held by a large number of thin rods in various configurations giving the impression of tangled spiderweb. This huge fenestration curves down and narrows as the wall beneath curves, and when it touches the ground either side of the altar it has contracted to a point.

Interior Edit

The interior is very simple, yet impressive. The floor is paved in red marble tiles. The main wall is rendered in a bluish white. The fenestration glass is mostly clear, with some quarries in red and blue. The roof is white, which appears pinkish owing to reflection from the floor, and shows its shuttering marks.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Institution's website

Info.roma web-page

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