The new Korean Evangelical Church in Rome comes from the refurbishment of the Cinema Folgore, an old movie theater in the Quadraro neighborhood. Abandoned over time, the building was used by Luca Ronconi for a while as a rehearsal room for his theatrical performances. The Evangelical Church of Korea, who acquired it in 2005, is a Christian church and one of the main gathering places of the large Korean community in the capital. Hosted by St.Andrew’s Church of Scotland in via XX Settembre, for long time it had been looking for its own facility, a place to carry out – autonomously – important activities for its community.
At the beginning of the work, the building was in bad conditions but, with a very small budget, it was completely recovered . The external walls were unchanged while a steel structure has been realized inside, above the reinforced concrete foundation plinths. The slopes of the roofs, almost invisible from the road, have been replaced without modify the pre-existing volume.
The main room has a double height and is equipped with a wide gallery supported by a pair of circular pillars; behind it is hidden a control room enclosed by a glass wall. The entrance, below the gallery, is therefore lowered; the balustrade, very simple and cheap, was made of iron and glass to ensure visibility of the altar. The altar is placed in a raised position on a pedestal (which, in future, should be fully covered with wood, according to one of the first project ideas) and is dominated by a large fifth plasterboard, which occupies the entire apse; on it has carved out a great and essential backlit cross.
An important point of the design program was to get a good acoustics in the main room: indeed a large part of the evangelical liturgy is dedicated at the choral singing. An initial project proposal included a wooden floor but the solution was rejected for economic reasons; the acoustic performance of the large double height hall was entrusted to plasterboard paneling, sound absorbent, which completely cover the room, hiding structure and systems. The arrangement of the panels follow a specific design studied to be simple and, at same time, to guarantee optimal transmission of sound. The light fixtures are mostly directed toward the altar, which is also equipped for video projections.
Beside the main room, the factory has a large entrance hall, a canteen, a kitchen, several rooms for meetings, offices, stores and of course the services; all this spaces are arranged on three levels. Other classrooms are used to accommodate the children of the community, who can enjoy a large terrace overlooking the internal courtyard.