Designed by Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, Riola Parrish Church is a stunning concrete form which mimics and modulates with the contours of its Italian landscape. The magnificent baptistery, completed in 1978, is located eight kilometers south of Bologna in the small town of Riola. Aalto’s evocative modernist architecture captures the spirit of this mountain setting; it is a spiritual structure which, inside and out, unassumingly expresses sanctity of faith and place. The interior chapel's play on light is especially divine; the northern light is diffused through vertical, asymmetrical ribs, which create a majestic grid of soft light which projects down onto the worshipper. The presence of light brilliantly transcends the occupier into a holy state. The intensified light around the alter is intended to create a close relationship between the functioning spaces of the alter, choir and organ, and the baptistery. The hexagonal baptistery is occupied by wooden pews that descend in height as they approach the luminous alter.
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