The Don Bosco Church is part of a new parish centre, located in a residential quarter of Maribor, under the Pohorje Massif. The Religious Complex belonging to the Salesian community is designed as a closed building island. The building itself is a clearly articulated rectangular architectural mass with the nave and the bell tower rising above it.
Upon entering the ovale courtyard adorned by an old linden tree the church suddenly becomes visible across the portico. At a glance one can feel the extent of the nave from the ground over the roof of the lower part of the complex all the way to the cornice that represents a crown. Its uniform brick facade is embellished with ornaments representing seven crosses made of glazed bricks.
The church interior is marked by an intense experience of light. The nave is the place for introverted contemplation therefore the only view out is towards the sky. We used different qualities of light in order to accentuate the hugging shape of the nave. We choreographed a play of light: vivid natural light emitting from the round skylight interferes with diffused light of the nave. More soft natural light is coming from behind the presbytery and the rear choir. This simple yet so complex design allows the building to transcend its physical presence, becoming a mere container of light. The oval perimeter of the nave features horizontal lateral recesses, which house the chapel with the tabernacle, entrance to the sacristy, confessionals, side and rear choirs and a place for communion prayers. These openings induce a feeling of peaceful rotation around the central oculus.
Location: Engelsova ulica 66, Maribor
Client: Salezijanski inšpektorat
Photo: Miran Kambič
Award: Piranesi Award nomination 2016
Award: Mies van der Rohe Award nomination 2017
Award: BIG SEE Architecture Awards 2018 (category public and commercial architecture)
Award: Salon of Architecture Main Award (category achitecture), Novi Sad, 2018