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Church of Saint Anthony (Polana)

Maputo, Mozambique
1 of 3Photo © Artur Monteiro de Magalhães

The Church of Polana is located in a 1960s residential area (Sommerchield Quarter). The church has conceptual, structural and formal affinities with the religious architecture of German expressionism and with the Mexican churches by the Spanish Félix Candela. Its interior corresponds to a single circular-shaped space, characterized by the imposing presence of concrete, which is mitigated however by entries of multicolured bright light, a light that slides over the folds from the top of the dome to ground. The central space has a capacity for 600 people, which are surrounded by seven altars and a baptismal font, occupying constant intervals of the 16 peripheral areas with enries of light. The simplicity of interior spaces is accentuated by the minimal choice of materials: beyond the concrete, plastered and painted white and glass panels, some openings to allow ventilation and ceramic pavement. The conceptual unity of this work goes beyond its architectural dimension, extending itself to furniture design and figurative elements, since fulfilling the modern aim of integrating arts.