Family Chapel / EXiT architetti associati

© Teresa Cos

Architects: EXiT architetti associati / Francesco Loschi, Giuseppe Pagano, Paolo Panetto
Location: Padova,
Project Manager: Giuseppe Pagano
Structural Engineering: Alberto Soligo
Contractor: Parpajola s.p.a.
Project Area: 13 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Teresa Cos


Instead of a project description, EXiT shared with us some extracts from the conversation with the client, so we can understand the design development of the chapel.

FP and MP: “We called you to have our family chapel built”

© Teresa Cos
ground floor plan

EXiT: “It would be interesting though to reflect together on what is a family chapel about. For example, how many times do you go to the cemetery to see your loved ones?”

FP and MP: “Well, usually twice per year, on the anniversary of the deceased and on the All Saints Day”

© Teresa Cos

EXiT: “ Then, we propose designing a small space within the city. Basically, in Padova you’ll have a personal and private space where you could go to think, meditate, concentrate and, above all, allow yourself precious time to stay close to your loved ones”.

FP and MP: “I don’t think that spending time in a family chapel would be comfortable, as they are often dark. In addition you cannot sit in them because there is not enough space and they lack air also”.

© Teresa Cos

EXiT: “That’s why we thought about developing a comfortable space where you can sit and stay in contact with the atmospheric agents but be protected by them. The roof, with its passage of soft and changing light would enable you to appreciate the passing of time, and in case of rain, the water would drain through some holes inside the chapel. The floor, made of white gravel, would drain the water leaving the floor dry and when the silence becomes too oppressive, with the slight movement of gravel by foot, you will be accompanied in your thoughts by a slight sound. The door would not be closed hermetically but would allow air and light to pass so as to realize a controlled microclimate with a changing light according to the hour of the day.

© Teresa Cos

FP and MP: “Even though we could stay comfortable, the sight will inevitably move to the names of the deceased and on their photos thus making a stay there too oppressive”.

EXiT: “That’s why the will have a silent facing so it will be difficult to identify the burial niches. That’s why the wall design will look uniform from the inside to the outside and thus will mitigate the passage through the two ambiances. The roof will be developed by joining inox tubes that would be soldered together; this will produce a continuum of movement of lights and shadows leading your sight upwards. A few of these tubes will not be covered and from them light, air, rain will pass allowing you to see the sky.”

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Family Chapel / EXiT architetti associati" 26 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>