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Contemporary sacred

Raul Gabriel's contemporary altar, Olmo's church


The altar for the church in Olmo is a formal and substantial synthesis of the church filtered through my aesthetic interpretations. The fulcrum of the church is the altar, focal symbol of the presbytery, concentration of all the dynamic and visual tensions of the place.

The altar body

The central body is symmetrically asymmetrical, crossed by strong structural tensions. Monolithic, parallelepiped tending towards a cube, it is crossed by four fissures that partially affect it, whose projection in plan outlines the shape of a cross.

The altar table

The table has a curved lower part, an improper congruence of the asymmetrical concavity which forms the upper part of the central body. The two components are joined by two elements, parallelepipeds facing each other with rather accentuated splays.

Materials and concepts

The base and table of Olmo's contemporary altar are made of Saracen stone, while the irregular connecting volumes are made of the materials of the baptismal font, red travertine and navona which indicate blood and water, founding and constitutive elements of the church itself. John Chrysostom says: “…Now the Church was born from these two sacraments, from this bath of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit through Baptism and the Eucharist. And the symbols of Baptism and the Eucharist came out of the side…”

Contemporary sacred: Raul Gabriel on the contemporary altar:

“Making an altar is the perfect metaphor for attempting completion, the most compelling and all-encompassing challenge in the context of a sacred place. “


"Thinking about an altar is like conceiving the center of the universe. It must be perceived that everything that is in the church is understood as an expansion of the altar ". Raul Gabriel

Altare contemporaneo Olmo Perugia Raul Gabriel ©
Contemporary altar Olmo Perugia Raul Gabriel © contemporary sacred
Contemporary altar by Olmo Raul Gabriel © gallery

“Whatever is, is somewhere else”

Raul Gabriel
  • Studio

Milan, Italy

Pesaro, Italy

London, UK

  • Contact