PROJECT: DELISABATINI architetti YEAR: 2012 NAME: Cripta LOCATION: ROMA CLIENT: private COLLABORATOR: Arch. V. Pizzuto DOWNLOAD: PUBLICATIONS: The project aims to provide S. Ireneo church with new spaces for the new parish activities. The new crypt, a suggestive underground space built under the central nave, includes the cryptoporticus, a chapel and a large room with considerable flexibility and adaptability of use. This big room can be divided into several independent rooms, if necessary. The new large underground spaces will be accessible by the atrium directly from the courtyard. In the atrium, there are two large and comfortable staircases. The new atrium, a passing space created under the rectory, is entirely glazed. The two opposite stairs, guarantee a quick and comfortable entrance to the crypt. The abstract and luminous clarity of this small-sized space contrasts with the underground rooms, large and covered with calcareous stone. The cryptoporticus is a very suggestive space; it is bordered on one side by stone walls in contact with the soil and on the other by curved masonry. It crosses the entire area giving separate access to the underground chapel and is a hall of the large room. This space guarantees independent access to all rooms even when the sliding walls of the large room are closed to divide it into smaller rooms. A constellation of small geometric holes of the curved wall allows the entrance of light. The large underground space is characterized by the strength of the masonry structures of the walls. In their plastic configuration and stony nature, there is a clear allusion to natural cavities, to ancient catacomb spaces and to medieval crypts. The flat ceiling is interrupted by existing beams in concrete of the church foundations, which, freed from the ground, align a succession of pillars in the center of the big room. The chapel, accessible from the cryptoporticus, is a suggestive and intimate space. The rock of the walls that have a sinuous movement, give the crypt a character of meditation and concentration. An ancient well dug, in the presbytery area, is uncovered. It adds to the space a strong symbolic and religious character.