The frugality of wood

In the small church of Santa Maria Assunta, in Barbarano Vicentino, the interior design project has restored a sense of linearity, essentiality and decorum to the altar and presbytery area, which had been compromised over the years by the haphazard and redundant accumulation of heterogeneous materials and ornaments.

Parrocchia di Santa Maria Assunta
50 sqm
project Flavio Albanese

Flavio Albanese
founder & partner

Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of ASA studio albanese. He is a self-educated designer, by combining his passion for contemporary art with the practical experience of an artisan-architect. Having come into contact with Carlo Scarpa, he learns from him to avoid an “a priori” approach to design, adapting on a case-by-case basis to the occasions, themes and contexts. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. Active since 1971, in 1987 he founds with his brother Franco ASA studio albanese. The studio's projects were published by the most most important architecture and design magazines: the Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (2003), and ASA studio albanese took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15.000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art.

Images credits
Alessandro Sparapan

The small church of Santa Maria Assunta in Ponte di Mossano, along the Riviera Berica, was built in the mid-18th century on the site of the ancient medieval church that had been destroyed, and still represents a very important address in the life of the small community of Barbarano Vicentino.
In the course of the numerous modernisation and maintenance works, both the altar and the presbytery had seen a series of rather inappropriate material and stylistic choices superimposed, linked above all to the need to respond to concrete needs without being able to count on an adequate availability of means.
The objective of the interior intervention was to standardise and simplify the stylistic options, reducing the presence of inconsistent materials and solutions, to replace them with a more homogeneous and linear layout, consisting of light-coloured solid wood, modelled in simple and essential forms.
A return to the idea of wood, which plays an important symbolic role in the Christian liturgy, and to that of frugality, both reinterpreted in a contemporary key.