Riola Parish Church
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Architect Alvar Aalto
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Location Riola, Italy
Date 1975 to 1978   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System concrete with stone and copper cladding
Climate mediterranean
Context rural
Style Modern
Notes Asymmetrical arches shape softly daylit interior.


Photo, interior overview

Photo, exterior, overview at entry facade


Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

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Discussion Riola Parish Church Commentary

"The new church was one of the first in which the 'reformed' Roman Catholic liturgy would be given expression in architectural terms; the aim was to provide a close relationship between altar, choir and organ, as well as the baptistery. The shape of the church itself is an asymmetrical basilica with asymmetrical vaulting through which light, directed especially towards the altar, enters the building. Galleries were dispensed with, but the choir area was extended to compensate for their absence. The front wall of the church can be opened so that the forecourt serves as an extension to it."

— Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. p171.


The Riola Parish Center was designed in 1966.

The main body of the church was completed in 1978, without the campanile.

— Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study. p204; Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. p171.

Sources on Riola Parish Church

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. balance diagram, p179. — Updated edition available at

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1834.083. PCD.2260.1012.1834.084

Karl Flieg, ed. Alvar Aalto: Band II 1963-1970. Zurich: Les Editions d'Architecture Artemis, 1971. NA1455.F53A22 1970. site plan, p170. plan, p171. discussion, p171. — A definitive 'complete works' of Aalto. Although a bit dated in style, an invaluable reference for students of Alvar. Available at

Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study. New York: Schocken Books, 1983. ISBN 0-8052-3845-X. NA1455.F53A237 1983. details, p204.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Riola Parish Church


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