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Jubilee Church

Rome, Italy
Panorama view of the entry side
1 of 1
Panorama view of the entry side
B Coleman

The Jubilee Church, formally known as Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso (Italian for Church of God the Merciful Father), is a church and community center in Tor Tre Teste in Rome. According to Richard Meier, its architect, it is "the crown jewel of the Vicariato di Roma's (Archdiocese of Rome) Millennium project" (p. 354). The Church serves eight thousand residents of the Tor Tre Teste area and was meant to socially "revive" Tor Tre Teste. It is paid homage to in the video game Hitman: Blood Money, with a very similar church as the setting of the game's final mission.

The Site

The Church's site is divided into four main parts: first, the precinct, including the church and community center; second, the northeast terrace; third, the northwest recreation court; fourth, the west parking area.

Design and Construction

The south side of the church features three large curved walls of pre-cast concrete. (The walls form segments of spheres.) Meier claims to have designed the church to minimize thermal peak loads inside. The large thermal mass of the concrete walls control internal heat gain; the result is less temperature variation, and supposedly more efficient use of energy. The walls also contain titanium dioxide to keep the appearance of the church white. Enrico Borgarello, the director of research and development for Italcementi, the company that designed the cement, claims that the cement destroys air pollution.

According to Borgarell: "When the titanium dioxide absorbs ultraviolet light, it becomes powerfully reactive, breaking down pollutants that come in contact with the concrete. It is particularly good at attacking the noxious gases that come out of a cars exhaust pipe."