ANNA-RÉT MASS SCOPE
According to the legend, before Saint Francis started preaching to the public in Cannario, he ordered all the swallows to be silent, until he finishes his speech. They succumbed immediately…Following along his path he lifted his gaze and noticed a large flock of birds in the trees nearby. He gazed in awe at the crowd of birds and said to his companion: “Wait here until I preach to my sisters, the birds.” He deviated from the path to the meadow towards the birds and started talking to the ground peckers, while the birds sitting on trees crowded around them. They waited patiently for the preacher to finish his speech and did not fly away until St. Francis released them with his blessing.
The diocese along with the XII. district municipality announced a competition to celebrate the Anna-rét mass in a worthy setting. In our design we seek answers on how to form a sacred space with the fewest tools possible in an intact environment.
A small chapel stands in the northern slice of the meadow. They host masses in a small clearing in front of it for small groups. The dream of a large stone church has long been cherished by the congregation. Several building blocks were collected as donations. Out of these stones we build an altar to the east of the chapel, and a belfry to the west. These three built elements strain the space of the chapel. The grassy terrain clearing slopes toward the altar. The stone stair elements hurdle terraces like an auditorium of an amphitheatre. We draw a dynamic 3d arc around the open church space. This arc has multiple functions. On the one hand it is the symbolic circumscribing wall of the outdoor church space. The visitor stepping into the arc may feel a part of the ceremony on the other hand it towers over the altar like a Gloria.