Santa Maria Regina della Pace a Tor Vergata is a 21st century parish church at Via di Tor Vergata 309 in Tor Vergata, south of the Diramazione Roma Sud and the University campus.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of "Queen of Peace".
This church is in the municipality of Rome, but belongs to the diocese of Frascati.
The parish website referred to the church as a Piccolo paradiso nel deserto di Tor Vergata or "Little paradise in the desert of Tor Vergata", a gentle reminder that this is one of Rome's suburbs that is not pretty.
The parish was established in 2003, and first worshipped in a prefabricated shed. The building of a permanent church was finally accomplished in 2010, which had proved a challenge for a parish that was not wealthy (the land was donated by the city).
Tragically, the new church was completely gutted by fire on 21 November 2012. There was nothing of the structure that could be saved, and it had to be demolished in June 2013. This was done by Army corps, and paid for by the city.
The parish then had to go back to worshipping in the prefab.
Final approval for rebuilding the lost church was only obtained in March 2018, and by July 2018 work had not yet started.
Appearance of destroyed church Edit
The burned church was a small, low polyhedral building in wood and plastic.
The structure had been in three structural units. Firstly came a twelve-sided wooden pagoda frame (like a bandstand), with a roof framework in low sectors having circumferential rafters connecting the radial beams. The latter met at a lantern opening.
This frame was surrounded by a separate set of wooden walls, of vertical varnished planks and based on an octagonal plan. The corners of the octagon were chamfered except for the two flanking the entrance, so the polyhedron actually had fourteen sides. These walls supported a narrow zone of flat roofing surrounding the main roof described above. The longer sides of the polyhedron each had a large rectangular window, except for behind the altar.
The third structural element was a white plastic tent cover over the entire roof, which curved upwards like an inverted funnel around and above the lantern. This was brought forward over the entrance side, and supported itself by the corners of the extension curving down to reach the ground on either side. These elements tapered down almost to a point.
The interior was simple, with the wooden ceiling frame on view.
This was an architecturally interesting little church, and it was a great pity that it was lost.
Temporary replacement church Edit
The temporary church is a straightforward large prefabricated hut with a pitched roof, in front of the foundations of the lost church.
Mass is celebrated (parish website, July 2018):
Sundays and Solemnities 10:00, 11:30, 18:00.
There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays, from 7:00 to 18:00.