The Sacred Freespace

Francesco Costanzo, Gaspare Oliva

Keeping in the background the search for geometric-mathematical exactness, that in different cultures oversees the construction of sacred building and starting from the need to isolate it in order to make its "true form" recognizable, this paper analyzes features and conditions of the spaces of the city where different isolated and formally defined religious buildings coexist, as happens, for example, in Italian squares characterized by opposition between Cathedral and Baptistery. The Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa is assumed as a paradigm of in-between consecrated space in which several isolated buildings determine a tensional space and define a unique and unrepeatable configuration individuated among the multiple possible combinations of positions and architectural figures that is, according to Leibniz, expression of the idea of infinity. This kind of space looks for exactness not through closed forms but through relationships, positions and alignments of standing buildings and its rarefaction is directly connected with the idea of open city dispersed in nature proposed by modern architecture.


Exactness as Utopia; Freespace; Dispositio; Modern project


Alberti, L.B. (1989). De Re Aedificatoria. Milano, Italy, Il Polifilo.

Bisogni, S. (Ed). (2011). Ricerche in architettura. La zolla nella dispersione delle aree metropolitane. Napoli, Italy, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.

Bodei, R. (2016). Limite. Bologna, Italy, Il Mulino.

Casciato, M. (Ed). (2003). Le Corbusier a Chandigarh. Ritratto di una città moderna. Roma, Italy, Edizioni Kappa.

Costanzo F. (2015). Discontinua urbani. Dispositio e città nel Novecento. FAMagazine, 32, 36-48.

Costanzo, F. (2007). L’architettura del Campo: la composizione architettonica per le nuove centralità territoriali. Napoli, Italy, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.

Costanzo, F. (2011). Infinitum Secundum Multitudinem. Il canone compositivo e le infinite configurazioni dello spazio sacro. In Sicignano, E. (Ed). L’architettura dello spazio sacro. Soveria Mannelli, Italy, Rubbettino.

Doxiadis, CA. (1972). Architectural Space in Ancient Greece. Cambridge, USA, The MIT Press.

Günay, R. (1998). Sinan. The architect and his works. Istanbul, Turkey, Yapi Yayin.

Hilberseimer, L. (1927). Groszstadt Architektur. Stuttgart, Germany, Joseph Hoffmann.

Le Corbusier. (1948) Ineffable space. In Le Corbusier. New World of Space. Boston – New York, USA, Raynal & Hitchcock.

Leibniz, G.W. (1627), Monadologia.

Leonardo da Vinci (2002), Scritti artistici e tecnici. Milano, Italy, BUR-Rcs.

Martì Arìs, C. (1990). Le variazioni dell’identità. Milano, Italy, Clup.

Musil, R. (1943). Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Berlin, Germany, Rowohlt Verlag.

Quaroni, L. (1977). Progettare un edificio. Milano, Italy, Mazzotta Editore.

Valenziano, C. (2011) Architettura e liturgia. In Sicignano, E. (Ed). L’architettura dello spazio sacro. Soveria Mannelli, Italy, Rubbettino. .

Vitale, D. (2019). Salvatore Bisogni. Architetture immaginate. Napoli, Italy, Clean.

Copyright (c) 2020 Resourceedings Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.