Salta al contenuto principale
Passa alla visualizzazione normale.


Chiese e tessuti urbani. L'esperienza di Pasquale Culotta, dai riferimenti internazionali alle forme primarie.


Pasquale Culotta, architect of churches, plays a leading role in this essay. This choice is pertinent to the theme of the conference on urban renewal, and allows recognizing some peculiar aspects of Culotta design activity, the largest part of which was carried out with Giuseppe (Bibi) Leone, who recently passed away. We can affirm that every architectural project by Culotta and Leone is always an urban project, in the sense that it’s founded on the fabric of old centers, or, as in the case of the churches built in the suburbs, has created new connections in urban areas previously characterized by shapeless asphalted spaces. Against random suburban spaces, the churches designed by Culotta and Leone, later on only by Culotta, are conceived as cores able to give meaning to existing qualities but most of the times invisible. However, the urban project in the experience of Culotta and Leone is something different from a condescending and mimetic attitude towards the built environment. Small and large “deviations”, some not to scale elements, underline, where it is possible, the inclusion of one of their buildings, able to reveal and give significance to what is next and to features of the place recognizable at a territorial scale. In the design of parish complexes, from Maria Santissima della Lettera in Finale di Pollina (Pa, 1967-70) to San Carlo Borromeo in Tor Pagnotta (Rome, 2005), we can see how some architectural and urban design issues identified in the first Sicilian experience have been kept and developed, while others, such as the relationship between art, architecture, and liturgy, have become more and more central, dictating a research practice compulsory for the topic of the project. Except for the restoration of Temple-Cathedral of the district Terra in Pozzuoli, all parish complexes are in the suburbs, and, comparing the as-built plan with the design plan, we can see how the Sicilian architects with great skill and sensibility, turn deteriorated areas without identity into urban places where churches return to be, in the style of Alberti, the most important ornamentation of the city.Sciascia lets us see, in the description that goes from the mid-sixties of XX century to mid-2000s, starting from the restoration project of the Temple-Cathedral in Pozzuoli and above all in the design of the parish complex of San Carlo Borromeo in Rome, the direction followed by Culotta, in the early 2000s, after the dissolution of a forty years long partnership with his close friend Bibi Leone. The conclusions of the essay demonstrate that the collaboration with the world-famous liturgist monsignor Crispino Valenziano, and artists like Michele Canzoneri and Mimmo Paladino, has guided Culotta far beyond the boundaries of contemporary architecture, letting him discover and put into practice a huge universe of references. He deeply investigated these references thanks to his boundless curiosity, which allowed him to find design methods and formal results which were new compared with those developed between the mid-sixties and the early 2000s. Therefore, the essay provides a specific contribution to the conference topic since the design of churches tends to regenerate or reshape the urban space completely, and, at the same time, it can represent the starting point for a new exploration of the intimate research undertaken by Culotta at a mature age and unfortunately prematurely interrupted.