Eglise Saint-Jean Bosco

Eglise Saint-Jean Bosco image1


A cylindrical church built in 1956 according to designs by Pierre Jomain. Its remarkable spherical vault is made up of 60,000 'fusée céramique' vaults.
Father Guérin claimed that 'the idea was to represent an oven in which the bread of God rises. This is why the vault is covered in bricks.' The character of this building is largely due to the nature of the materials chosen: rough stone from Balme, raw concrete, exposed 'fusée céramique' vaults, un-moulded oak, edge-to-edge windows and tempered glass doors. The building's originality can be attributed to its roof: a flattened spherical skullcap surrounded by an open-work ring. On top of the wooden casing that encases tubular metal frame, are two layers of 60,000 'fusée en céramique' vaults slotted together, each one the shape and size of a bottle. The first layer of these vaults simply serve as insulation and have no supportive function. They are laid in concentric circles of decreasing diameter and remain visible on the inside of the building. After a layer of reinforced concrete screed, the second layer of 'fusée céramiques' are laid in a fan pattern and covered in concrete. Next, is a second layer of reinforced screed, followed by a seal made from plastic bands. Despite being nothing revolutionary, this process is noteworthy because it is the largest example in the world. Lighting comes through the high, narrow gaps in the cylindrical casing (stained glass windows by René Maria Burlet, made of large sheets of glass with fish on them - 1974) and the occulus which pierces the top of the roof. This church remains unfinished, as the proposed bell-tower (a sharp, 30m-high needle), has never been built.
Le Biollay, Place René Vair, 73000, Chambéry