The sacred construction of space - Abusive church in Torre Mileto
"From your eyes to my eyes" is a project that was born from the idea of involving the people who follow me in magazines and on social media in my photo reports; inviting them to send me their favorite architectural places, the ones they carry within themselves, in their eyes.
A "bird's eye" view of the world. A great variety of types, functions, geographical contexts and emotions, different but also with subtle affinities and possible relationships.
And this is how, from a program of places proposed by hundreds of people, together with Nicola Carofiglio and Giuseppe Tupputi, the idea of intertwining two distant stories was born, that of Hans Van der Laan's Vaals abbey in Holland and that of an abusive church built in Puglia in the informal settlement of Torre Mileto.
A long journey from Holland to Puglia, from the north to the south of Europe, through our eyes.
THE SACRED CONSTRUCTION OF SPACE
After Aldo Amoretti told us he would have selected our proposals, he suggested this — apparently impossible — comparison. Two architectures that are really distant in their aims and results, beside their mere ritual function. We welcomed the intuition of his gaze, then we started questioning what we thought it could have been the only possible ground of comparison: the conscious or accidental search for a spatial ‘zero grade’, the elementary gestures building these spaces, the clarity of the relationship between sign and meaning. We defined the trajectories and accompanied Aldo to these places, then we developed reflections within a dense three-voiced-six-eyed exchange, combining words and images. Starting from two opposite points of view, this photographic and textual report tells about the sacred construction of space trough the smallest amount of gestures and components, tending to the primitive, the essential. Hans Van der Laan’s work is the result of theoretical awareness and a continuous rational search for the archetype, whilst the illegally built church in Torre Mileto is the outcome of a spontaneous necessity, distant from any form of abstract thinking.
Nicola Carofiglio & Giuseppe Tupputi
WHITOUT AUTHOR, THE CHURCH OF TORRE MILETO
Torre Mileto is a sprawled seaside suburb on the isthmus separating Lesina Lake from Adriatic Sea, in Apulia. Here, the illegal construction of a church among dunes is interesting because it proves the essential need for sacred spaces, and also because it shows a spontaneous way of approaching the theme of the sacred construction of space.
If, on one hand, the decompositions, disarticulations and ungrammaticalities appear evidently, on the other hand, by digging into this barbarism "without hoping to keep your hands clean", it is also possible to find "unexpected and imperfect gems" , recognizing the sincerest needs of a space where everything is aimed at reducing gestures and constructive effort to a minimum.
The church of Torre Mileto resurfaces like a fossil from the sand.
The hexagonal volume of the presbytery preserves its only inner space, which is built through a few elementary acts: delimiting, covering, elevating and overlooking. Some elements correspond to these acts: the walls, the covering, the basement and the cross-shaped window. There is no design of the tectonic order, but there is a feeble and authentic need for certain conceptual and constructive relationships in the spontaneous assembling of prefabricated components.
The hall is not a delimited space, but a circumscribed and at the same time open place, oriented towards the sea and immersed in the natural landscape. Symbolically track on the ground on the right side by a row of concrete blocks, it is imprinted in the earth's surface by those few centimeters that are necessary to root the civic space to the natural place.
Stopped at this instinctive level, the church of Torre Mileto lacks compositional principles, eurythmy, proportion and symmetry. On the other hand, the essentiality of spatial and constructive intentions has spontaneously produced a certain kind of formal economy, which characterizes the arrangement, distribution and decorum . In this work, there is an unconscious search for the zero degree of the construction of space, on which its suggestive character largely depends. Nevertheless, in the absence of designed proportional and syntactic relationships, this fascination is condemned to remain imprisoned in the prelinguistic groan of a construction which is almost completely incapable of expression.