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Antique Red, new heart

Traditional forms meet contemporary materials in the church of Santo Spirito Pegognaga – MANTOVA

Pegognaga, in Lombardy, northern Italy, has a new beating heart: the church of Santo Spirito, built following the demolition of the Santa Maria Assunta church, which was seriously damaged in the 2012 earthquake.

The church is the lifeblood of the town, presiding over its inhabitants’ daily activities as they cross the parvis or walk along the perimeter wall. And its red hue continues the heart metaphor, paying homage to the colour of traditional terracotta bricks in a range of materials and subtle shades: pink concrete walls, pink Lessinia stone floors and Antique Red titanium-zinc zintek® coverings.

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The new structure, designed by Enrico Maria Raschi and Sara Lonardi of LR-architetti, comprises two intersecting structures: the church itself, with a gable roof, and a lower unit adjacent to the road that includes the weekday chapel, baptistery, sacristy, and other spaces for use by parishioners.

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Inside, the walls of the central main body of the church alternate columns and full-height windows, flooding the space with natural light.
As well as rooms designated for church activities and spiritual training, there is also a small exhibition displaying artefacts from three churches of different historical periods unearthed during the foundation excavation work.

The roof, made of steel beams and supported by a robust foundation resting on tie rods, is simultaneously durable and flexible, designed to handle extreme weather and seismic activity.

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Clad in Antique Red zintek® from «The Color Line» series in equal-width seamed sheets, it features lengthways joints with angular seaming and a transversal joint in staggered courses.