The crypt at the Church of San Cristinziano

LocationS. Martino sulla Marrucina, Chieti, Italy
Projectarch. Lorenzo Fosco
PhotoSimone Tommasini

The church of San Cristinziano in San Martino sulla Marrucina, in the province of Chieti, is the town’s oldest church, first recorded in the 13th century. In antiquity, it was the castle church, while its bell tower was formerly the tower that stood beside the entrance gate to the courtyard of the ancient castrum, or Roman fort. Over the centuries, the church has undergone considerable structural changes, which have given the building a Baroque appearance and hidden the original mediaeval elements.

The crypt restoration project was supervised by architect Lorenzo Fosco, who specialises in the restoration of churches and farmhouses in Abruzzo. His design concept draws on an analysis of historical sources and the reinterpretation of local typological architectural elements. It creates a dialogue between the state of conservation and the restoration of missing parts, taking as its starting point the historical knowledge of the artefact, with new elements in symbiosis with the pre-existing.

Consequently, the cornices on the ribbed vaulting have been preserved, leaving the geometric lines as a guide for the observer’s own free interpretation and reconstruction. In addition, the modern masonry has been eliminated, bringing to light the ancient openings that once connected the spaces. The alcoves that guarded the original stairways connecting the upper church were deliberately left unfinished.

Ella IN indoor wall-mounted fixtures, 1.0 7W 230Vac, with a white finish, were installed at the base of the vaults to illuminate them indirectly. This creates a three-dimensional effect on the vaults as they reflect the light. The same effect is achieved on the back wall of the large room with minimalist Geko 5.0 outdoor wall-mounted fixtures, 16W 230Vac, with a white finish.

In the alcoves, where the archaeological finds and original stairs can be seen, Spot 1.0 outdoor projectors, 2W 500mA, with 40° optics, were installed, in AISI 316L stainless steel and with a perforated bracket.

To accentuate elements such as the arches, the choice fell to Lyss 1.0 projectors, 1.0 5W 230Vac, with 10°x180° transparent optics. These optics produce a well-defined light output, here deliberately arranged to create a banded light pattern, which contrasts very effectively with the diffused light illuminating the vaults. The projectors’ small size makes them useful for this type of application as they are barely visible in the architectural setting.

All the products installed have a light output of 2700K, a warm colour temperature that helps to make the environment feel warm and welcoming.


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