Façade for the parish church in Genestrerio,
parish of Genestrerio
Structure and materials:
reinforced concrete bearing structure; cladding in blocks of split
In Genestrerio, Botta’s hometown, the façade of the parish
was in a terrible state of disrepair. The façade had been repainted during the Forties, but had deteriorated so much that the trompe-l’oeil on it, recreating a view of the interior, had virtually vanished. Faced with the choice of redesigning and repainting the façade as it was or of proposing a new image, the Genestrerio Parish Council chose the latter, backed also by the recommendation offered by the local Committee for Historic Monuments when it analysed the renovation work required for the church. The plans that were submitted proposed a new “architectural” façade adjoining the existing one. This has effectively created a new church façade, which starts with the edge of the entryway and fans out from the three sides (the two sides and the roof) for a total breadth of 2.75 metres. The new façade is expressed as a contemporary addition and it is detached from the extant church by a clear-cut “joint”. The ensuing image is extremely eloquent, and the new portal strengthens the presence of the little church with respect to the square, the main thoroughfare and the entire village. A minimum of effort has thus yielded the proverbial maximum results. The façade was designed with a concrete bearing structure clad in split red
stone. This work was paralleled by renovation of the parvis to create the levels required to link the new entrance with the existing square. The enormous vase built next to the access stairs, where broom will be planted, is also a vital part of this link.