Penitentiary of the Antonian Sanctuaries
The project of the new Penitentiary of the Antonian Sanctuaries of Camposampiero, Padua, represents a fundamental step in the work of 593 Studio, both from an architectural-compositional point of view and from a technical point of view. The building is a transitional space between the sanctuary to the north and the convent of the friars to the south. It is erected exactly where the entire compendium of the Antonian Sanctuaries originated in the early 14th century. That original construction is not existing any more, with the exception of the partial sediment of the buildings that are placed around the oldest of the three cloister. Over the decades, this cloister was used for subordinated functions: parking, warehouse, space for maintenance operations. These uses completely denied its original centrality that is evident from its position in relation to the surrounding architectural complex.
This is the context of the project of the new penitentiary. It is the place where the faithful participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. With the penitentiary, the most forgotten and poorly preserved shred of the entire compendium is transformed into a new focal point, namely in terms to the liturgical profile, and thanks also to the new confessionals with the adjacent little chapel, which in terms of space, is redefining the aesthetic, functional and material structure of what was the first cloister.
The intervention derived from a patient and precious collaboration with the Superintendency, in particular in the person of the architect Norbiato. The intervention focuses on the role of pure materials, always carefully put in the right space to make them talk and interact with the surrounding area, first of all with the bell tower located at the entrance of the cloister, freed during the works by an artifact in cement and sheet metal that joined it to the Sanctuary, preventing it from being read as an autonomous body. The constructive outcome was achieved by employing extremely complex technical solutions, combining structural systems in X-lam with prestressed concrete, exposed brickwork and murano glass, metall structures and single-glazed windows 5 meters high, travertine and natural plasters. While this has recreated the missing front of the cloister on the outside, by adding a completely redesigned structure which is placed in relation with the southern aisle of the Sanctuary, the project involved the construction of 5 confessionals on the inside through the creation of a huge inhabited sculpture, like a hollow “trunk” laid between the new chapel and the connection path between the Sanctuary and the convent. The use of natural and artificial light as a separating element between the various parts that make up the project has helped to reaffirm the proximity between the various floors that draw the volumes of the penitentiary, both inside and outside.