Dives in Misericordia Church
Site characteristics: Triangular flat area bordering on a community park and surrounded by ten-storey apartment buildings in an area populated by about 30,000 people.
Church area: 830 m²
Parish center: 1,671 m² Construction system: precast post-tensioned concrete panels for the church sails and use of special white cement
Materials: precast white architectural concrete, travertine, glass
Designed by the American Architect Richard Meier – winner of the International competition by invitation "50 chiese per Roma 2000 (50 churches for Rome 2000)" organized in 1995 by the Vicariate of Rome – the church Dives in Misericordia is an outstanding example where the architectural contents of the great masters – Bramante, Borromini and Le Corbusier – interweave with a rigorous relationship between the light element and the formal purism of Meier's design language. Dives in Misericordia, the symbol of the Jubilee 2000, consecrated in 2003, is located in the suburban context of Tor Tre Teste in Rome, creating a strong identity where the disorientating density of residential buildings prevails beyond measure over the quality of the architecture. The essential and severe church complex which has succeeded in connecting the sacredness of its interior with the livability of its great external areas, is characterized by three large white concrete sails that swell as if propelled by a wind blowing from the East.
Italcementi, technical partner of the project, contributed to the construction of the Church with innovative and high-tech products including the new white cement TX Active® (world patent by Italcementi Group) and continuous supervision of the concrete mix during the construction phases.
A structure of such architectural prestige and symbolic meaning required the use of a very special concrete, characterized not only by high mechanical performance and durability, but also by a white color of considerable brightness, capable of maintaining the aesthetic appearance unchanged over time due to its self-cleaning property. The white cement produced by Italcementi for Dives in Misericordia is the result of extensive laboratory research aimed at optimizing the aesthetic durability characteristics of high quality cement works.The photocatalytic action eliminates the various pollutants – vehicle exhaust gas, flue gas from domestic heating, industrial discharges of chemicals, pesticides – which come into contact with the cement surface, transforming them into substances which do not harm the environment. This allows the original aesthetic appearance of the structure or of the work to be preserved over time.
Thanks to its photocatalytic properties tested around the world, TX Active®, represents a practical wide-range solution. A growing number of public administration officials are choosing it to build or renovate roads and buildings.
Richard Meier received his architectural training at Cornell University and established his own office in New York in 1963. His practice has been awarded major civic commissions in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including courthouses and city halls, museums, corporate headquarters, and housing and private residences.
Among his most well-known projects are The Getty Center in Los Angeles; the "Dives in Misericordia" Church in Rome, Italy; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; 165 Charles Street & 173-176 Perry Street Condominiums in New York; the Canal+ Television Headquarters in Paris, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain.
In 1984, Mr. Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honor. In the same year, he was selected architect for the prestigious commission to design The Getty Center in Los Angeles, which was opened to popular and critical acclaim in December 1997. Among the projects recently completed by Richard Meier & Partners are the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles; Arp Museum in Germany; the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome; the Burda Collection Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany; the Broad Art Center at UCLA; the San Jose City Hall; Coffee Plaza in Hamburg, Germany; and the U.S. Courthouses in Islip, New York, and Phoenix, Arizona; and Weill Hall, the Life Sciences Technology Building at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Projects currently under construction include the Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy; a condominium complex in Jesolo, Italy; a residential tower in Tel Aviv, Israel; two residential towers in Tokyo, Japan; two hospitality and commercial projects in Mexico; a club house and hotel in China; and luxury residences in Bodrum (Turkey), Luxembourg, Shenzhen (China), Hartfordshire (the UK) and Long Island (New York).
In 1997, Richard Meier received the AIA Gold Medal, the highest award from the American Institute of Architects and, in the same year, the Praemium Imperiale from the Japanese government in recognition of lifetime achievement in the arts. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects, and he received a Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the AIA in 1980 and a Gold Medal from the Los Angeles Chapter in 1998. His numerous awards include thirty National AIA Honor Awards and over fifty regional AIA Design Awards. In 1989, Richard Meier received the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1992, the French Government honored him as a Commander of Arts and Letters, and in 1995 he was elected Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper- Hewitt Museum, the American Academy in Rome and the American Academy of Arts and Letters from which he received the Gold Medal for Architecture in 2008. He is currently working on his first monograph about his sculptures, collages, drawings and paintings with famous graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Naples, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, The New School for Social Research, Pratt Institute, the University of Bucharest, and North Carolina State University.
- i.active Cement and binders Social
Architect/StudioRichard MeierHis practice has been awarded major civic commissions in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including courthouses and city halls,museums, corporate headquarters, and housing and private residences. In 1984, Mr. Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honor.