Richard Meier

In the near vicinity of Ponte Cavour, the Ara Pacis is a precious display case; and at Tor Tre Teste, the three white “sails” of a church play with the sky: in the heart of Rome and on the edge of the city as well, the great architect Richard Meier has left his mark.
In order to preserve and enhance the entirely sculpted altar that Augustus ordered built in BC 9 as a monument to his work of pacification of the Empire, Meier thought of a wall of water and a shallow staircase leading towards the large steel, travertine and glass case, a precious and transparent treasure chest for one of the most fascinating and significant finds of ancient Rome.
This is all in the front; in the back, instead, to limit the interior exhibition spaces, there are closed walls “slashed” by streaks of light.
In the eastern suburbs of Rome, the second of Meier’s “marks,” is the Church Dives in Misericordia built for the Jubilee in 2000: it comprises three self-supporting, white concrete sail-like walls of different heights, the tallest of which measures 26 metres.
The forms of the building are inspired by Christian tradition, with a nave that suggests the idea of ​​a boat, and the three sails symbolizing the trinity, to sail through time and to lead the Catholic church in the third millennium.
The effect is even more emphasized by the play of light sought for by the American architect to accentuate the curvature of the sails, as though filled by wind, and the ad hoc, brand-new and vigorously designed liturgical furnishings inside.

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Contemporary Rome