Facciata esterna - Smiljan Radic Chapel, Venezia, Italia - Moretti Modular Contractor

Smiljan Radic Chapel,
Venice, Italy

For the Vatican Chapels project, Smiljan Radic, one of Chile’s most innovative and curious architects, drew inspiration from spontaneous votive altars built along Chilean roads. A form of popular devotion that reduces sacred space only dimensionally but not emotionally. A textured cylinder, two glass plates and a hulled trunk, three elements that invite the ascension of the spirit. The trunk is support for the transparent cover and represents the soul’s vector to heaven.

With an extremely textured appearance, the chapel has a truncated cone shape. Five meters high, it is made of 8 reinforced concrete ashlars 10 cm thick from a factory-built three-dimensional formwork; the ashlars have an inner matrix of bubble wrap and a sandblasted stained outer side. The floor is also made of cement slabs with the same internal finish. The cement used is colored dark gray paste. The foundation of the chapel has tarred wooden structure, like the traditional buildings in Venice. The roof, on the other hand, is composed of two 3 m by 6 m sheets of laminated glass, 4 cm thick, resting on burnished steel supports. The large burnished steel beam placed at the top recalls the horizontal axis of the cross; the vertical one consists of the trunk of a tree, which rests on a special reinforced concrete support. Access is through a large door built of larch wood planks, hinged to the structure with steel pins.

Project: arch. Smiljan Radic

“A chapel, any chapel, always hopes to be bigger than it is. Its scale is a trick. In a chapel and even in a shrine, the monumental and the domestic live in harmony.”

Smiljan Radic, Architect


Smiljan Radic


A special three-dimensional formwork was created to make the ashlars that make up the vertical structure of the chapel.

The intensive relationship with the designer led to the definition of a technical solution that perfectly interprets his concept and is compatible with transportation and installation requirements.


the concrete ashlars that make up the chapel structure, made in the factory with an inner matrix of bubble wrap and a stained and washed outer side


the chapel’s internal diameter

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