churches

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Design

This Solemn Forest Chapel in Japan Imitates Two Hands Clasped in Prayer

September 28, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Located in a forest just beyond a nondenominational cemetery sits the Sayama Forest Chapel, a three-year-old building designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP (previously). From a bird’s eye view the chapel appears to form both a star and two hands pressed together in prayer, which is a traditional Japanese structural form called “Gassho-zukuri.”

“For those who are in deep grief and inconsolable, how can architecture nurture them? With this in mind, I designed buildings that gently surround them and support their intentions,” explained Nakamura to Yellowtrace.

The building was also built in a way to promote growth around its exterior, with walls tilted inward to leave room for the forest to grow around its shape. The chapel’s floor and patterns of its slate also lean toward the forest, subtly asking visitors to concentrate their mind on the surrounding elements of nature.

The chapel was named as a winner in the religious buildings and memorials category in this year’s Architizer A+Awards, an awards program that celebrates the year’s best in architecture and products. (via Yellowtrace)

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Design

A Lone Man Spends 53 Years Building a Cathedral by Hand

July 13, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Since 1963, a man named Justo Gallego has dedicated his life to building a cathedral on the outskirts of Madrid almost entirely by himself. Despite the lack of any formal training in construction or architecture, Gallego has continued work on the giant church into his 90s and works on it even today. Driven solely by his faith, he admits the project will never be finished in his lifetime and he has yet to make plans for what happens after he dies. Great Big Story gives us a quick glimpse of this unusual man and his towering cathedral.

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Art

The Floor of an Historic Church Transformed Into a Reflective Pool of Multi-Colored Orbs by Liz West

May 17, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images by Hannah Devereux

Reflecting the architecture of the former St. John’s Church in North Lincolnshire, UK is Liz West‘s site-specific pool of over 700 multi-colored orbs titled “Our Colour Reflection.” These circular mirrors installed onto the floor of the now 20-21 Visual Arts Centre project hues of yellow, purple, red, blue, and 11 other colors onto the beams that surround them, adding a colorful dimension to the 125-year-old building.

“The work changes constantly, depending on what time of day it is,” West told The Creators Project. “As darkness comes, the gallery spotlights reflect off the colored mirrors and send vivid dots of color up into the interior of the former church building, illuminating the neo-Gothic architecture.”

Visitors can peer into the reflective pool to see how it refracts their own image, inserting themselves simultaneously into the history and artistic intervention of the space. The installation is also a reference to stained glass, as West focused on the history of the arts center as a former place of worship before starting the installation. You can catch the multi-colored light refractions of “Our Colour Reflection” through June 25, 2016. (via The Creators Project)

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Art Design History

An Early Christian Church Resurrected in Towering Wire Mesh by Edoardo Tresoldi

March 31, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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all images © Blind Eye Factory

With hundreds of yards of wire mesh artist Edoardo Tresoldi has built an interpretation of an early Christian church that once stood in its place at the current Archaeological Park of Siponto, Italy. Built with the assistance of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Archaeology Superintendence of Puglia, the installation connects ancient archaeology with contemporary art. The sculpture stands on the former church’s site with a ghostly presence, looking almost like a hologram illuminated in the park. Despite its sheer appearance the installation contains detailed architetural elements including tiered columns, domes, and statues that stand within the structure.

You can see more of Tresoldi’s work on his Facebook and Behance.  (via Designboom)

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Art Design

Okuda San Miguel Wraps a Moroccan Church in a Vibrant Geometric Mural

March 15, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images courtesy of Ink and Movement

After covering a church turned skatepark in Spain with his signature style of murals, Okuda San Miguel (previously) has now transformed an abandoned Moroccan church into a 360-degree mural titled “11 Mirages to Freedom.” The street artist covered the structure in geometric bears, birds, and human faces, produced as a part of the British Council‘s Street Art Caravane Initiative. Working with the architecture already in place, San Miguel painted each of the building’s eleven faces while incorporating the structure’s barred windows. These he formed into bird cages, hats, and masks that are seamlessly incorporated…as long as you don’t look into the barred openings.

The church is uniformly painted in a brilliant shade of yellow, with smaller architectural details painted in equally vibrant colors. You can see more of San Miguel’s murals in the video Infinite World included below, as well as on the artist’s Instagram. (via Web Urbanist)

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Art Design

A 100-Year-Old Church in Spain Transformed into a Skate Park Covered in Murals by Okuda San Miguel

December 15, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by Lucho Vidales

Originally designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912, the church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, was abandoned for years and crumbling from neglect. Luckily, a group of enterprising individuals lead by a collective called the ‘Church Brigade,’ with help from online fundraising and Red Bull, the church was salvaged and turned into a public skate park dubbed Kaos Temple.

As if having a skate park inside a beautiful abandoned church wasn’t enough, artist Okuda San Miguel was commissioned to cover the walls and vaulted ceilings with his unique brand of colorful geometric figures. Nearly every flat interior surface is covered with a rainbow of color, illuminated from every side by tall windows, making this a truly special place to skate. Watch the video below to see an interview with Okuda where he talks about his inspiration both for Kaos temple and his other works around the world. (via designboom)

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Design Photography

Vertical Panoramic Photographs of New York Churches by Richard Silver

September 24, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Church of St. Vincent Ferrer

Richard Silver (previously) has a unique way of looking at architecture, building composite photographs from several images that seamlessly reveal a structure’s interior. His new series captures the insides of New York churches, and are perfectly timed for the Pope’s impending arrival on U.S. soil. These images are composed of 6-10 shots, forming a vertical panorama so cohesive that it might give you vertigo.

Although Silver has been to hundreds of churches during his career and many years of travel, it’s only recently that he figured out how to capture the expansive inner beauty of their architecture. “Finding the perfect location in the center aisle then shooting vertically from the pew to the back of the church gives the perspective that only architecture of this style can portray,” says Silver.

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Church of St. Stephen / Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Silver was born and raised in New York and has visited 75 countries in his life, including 13 last year alone. His previous careers involved computer science, real estate, and a stint on Wall Street, but he embraced photography full-time in 2011. You can see more of his vertical church series on his Flickr page here.

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Calvary Episcopal Church

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Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava / Church of the Village

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Church of St. Francis Xavier

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Vincent St. de Paul / Most Holy Redeemer Church

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St. Monica’s Church