Church on the Edge of Rome Offers a Solution to Smog
MILAN, Nov. 27 â When the American architect Richard Meier
was asked to design a church in Rome to commemorate the 2,000th
anniversary of Christianity, he offered an imposing white concrete
structure dominated by three soaring âsails.â
The projectâs main technical sponsor got to work on a coating that
would enhance Mr. Meierâs trademark white sculptural forms. It came up
with a material that essentially cleans itself, minimizing the need for
What the sponsor, the Italcementi Group, did not
know was that the new material â which contains titanium dioxide, a
white pigment â has another peculiarity. It âeatsâ surrounding smog.
Extensive testing has since determined that construction products
containing titanium dioxide help to destroy pollutants found in car
exhaust and heating emissions, scientists say.