11. Church of Seed, China | Modern Churches
As the name goes, the Church of Seed is inspired by seed, of which the curvy form also merges with the mountainous curvy landscape. The spatial planning is based on the sunlight direction, i.e., the cross-shaped cutout on the east to welcome the rising sun, a solid west wall to block the afternoon sun, and stepped north terrace to let in maximum light. The stepped terrace takes the users to an observation deck on the roof, and also creates a dramatic ceiling inside.
An innovative example of contrast design, the external façade of the church is made of glass entirely to go along with the surrounding landscape, whereas the interior is circular and has suspended tree trunks made of cedarwood. The interiors shimmer during the day due to the glass façade, to be in harmony with nature.
13. Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral, New Zealand
Shigeru Ban designed this church as a replacement for an Anglican cathedral which got destroyed in the 2011 earthquake in the city. But the triangular church, made of 98 cardboard tubes and colored stained glass window that is a feature of gothic cathedrals, will serve the population of 700 for another 50 years.
14. The Church Of St. Aloysius, United States
Image Sources: Image 41 – View of the church (tent-like roof anchored by piers) © Alan Schindler
The Four Devotions of Saint Aloysius: Blessed Sacrament, Passion of Our Lord, Love of Our Lady, and Choir of Angels is seen in the concept of the design of the church, having each of these in the four corners, which gives rise to a tent-like form. Large concrete buttresses anchored in the ground support the tent-like roof of the structure. This kind of roof and support system also gives a large area for glass windows for views of the surrounding landscape.
15. Knarvik Community Church, Norway | Modern Churches
The sharp geometry of the Knarvik church soars 43 meters high in the skyline of Norway. Wooden panels on the facades and interiors blend with the surrounding rural landscape. Slits in the walls break the monotony of the piercing form and transform the lighting pattern in the interior as well as in the skyline of the city.
16. Reading Between The Lines (The Gijs Van Vaerenbergh Church), Belgium
The uniquely designed church breaks from the concept of designing solid walls to enclose the space. The metal framework of the church gives a see-through experience from all angles from the exterior. Yet the form is that of the traditional churches, having spires.
17. Hiroshima Chapel, Japan
The church is built within a hotel complex, and the hotel’s courtyard is thus visible to the visitors of the chapel. To integrate with the garden (courtyard), the wooden lattice panels were intricately created, showcasing Japan’s arts and craft, and intricate workmanship. The tree, as the lattice, signifies Japan’s belief in linking the past to future generations, just like trees in the forest.
18. Church Of Beatified Restituta, Czech Republic
The minimalist circular concrete church has been left bare in order to give the users a visually distraction-free space for contemplation. The circular shape of the church stands as a symbol of eternity and heaven, and the triangular plan of the bell tower, connected by a bridge, is a play of shapes that visually breaks the two spaces. A shadow of rainbow colors dramatically falls on the dome during the sunlit hours, the windows of which are kept hidden to create a sense of the unknown, representing heaven.
19. Ribbon Chapel, Japan
A perfect fairytale wedding setting, the Ribbon Chapel spirals over a luxurious resort in the form of a ribbon creating wall as well as the roof. The chapel overlooks the sea alongside as the staircase formed by the spire ascends to the roof-top.
20. Chapel Maria Magdalena, Austria | Modern Churches
The chapel is an example of minimalistic architecture and is covered by white concrete walls and glass. The cross stands outside the enclosure to connect with the higher power. The white space provides a tranquil environment for contemplation.