Taking cues from both the Nervi and Richardson projects, this church places a large tower campanile at the crossing. The circular geometries owe more to Trinity, but the glass corners and spatial fluidity are direct quotes of St. Mary. The tower transitions from a square at its base to a circle at the crown, paying homage to Nervi’s typical hyperbolic paraboloid surfaces.
This past February, my wife and I took a weekend trip to San Francisco, where we stumbled across the city’s cathedral – St Mary of the Assumption, by Pierluigi Nervi and Pietro Belluschi. The church is a square, with large piers in the corners supporting a gargantuan lantern, which also doubles as the church’s campanile. The large piers dominate the four corners which have been rendered in finely detailed glass storefronts, effectively making the church more of a standard Greek cross rather than the centrally-focused square it purports to be. I’ll be featuring my own riffs on this project over the coming days, but for now, I’ll let you appreciate the brutal simplicity of the form that started it all.