Reflection and Shadows

architect Álvaro Siza
project Anastasis Church, Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, Francuska
written by Vera Grimmer


On the outskirts of the Marco de Canaveses town, in the mountainous region of northern Portugal, in 1996 Álvaro Siza built the Santa Maria church, a sacral object of a strong expression. The first encounter with this ambivalent building incites fascination as much as surprise and uncertainty. Two prism-towers protect the entrance volume with mysterious, too-tall bronze gates. They open only for large Church holidays, and there are smaller man-proportionate doors cut in them. The inside is possibly even more fascinating because of the different, imaginary world that the architect achieved by lighting effects from an invisible source. Twenty years later, in the Brittany town of Saint-Jacques-de-la Lande near Rennes, the master from Porto is building, in completely different surrounding and with a completely different program, the Anastasis church.