Dove of Peace / Sunlay Design

Beijing Sunlay Design Office designed a Protestant Church in Inner Mongolia that takes its inspiration from the land’s topography.  Set on top of a hill of Ordos, the scheme, entitled “” gives its metaphor and poetry to the church by re-interpreting a contemporary and abstract silhouette of the bird carrying an olive branch.  Made of concrete and with the facades finished in white crepi,  the church’s form follows the adjacent curved road that crosses the site. “The dialogue between the outside and the inside space is emphasized by the play of shadows and light that creates complexity and depth in the reading of the space.”  Delicate streams of light reflect harmony and tranquility, providing the perfect atmosphere for prayer and contemplation.

More images after the break.

As seen on E-Architect

Ordos Protestant Church – Building Information

Location: Ordos,
Year of Design: 2009
Architect: Beijing Sunlay Architectural Design Co.Ltd.
Type: Public and Mixed-use
Client: Ordos City Planning Administration Bureau

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Dove of Peace / Sunlay Design" 11 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Hale.H.

    a hybrid of masters’ elements…

    a copy n paste product~

    • Antonio

      agree…I would copy n paste your comment

  • Icytect

    the altar is an imitation of Le Corbou’s Notre Dam De Haut Church in france, even the wall openings and the seatings, a coincidince?

  • anon

    Corbusier + Zaha’s Phaeno Science Center windows?

    please let me know if I’ve made a naive remark.

    • jp

      + Ando’s Church of Light

      • wartian

        + a little bit of gaudi work!

    • focus

      yeah… I agree, it´s so Zaha’s copy…

  • danklyn

    church architecture, inner mongolia. amazing:

  • Leon

    please reinvent the wheel…

  • TMW

    I said, wow very nicely envisioned spaces.
    But I guess that makes me naive. But that beats being overly cynical.

  • anarkyll


    is this where we’ve arrived? yes – notre’dame, corbu – church of light – it does pony off several elements of these. however – its not LYING about that fact. its blatant that they have taken beautiful elements from key masterpieces and incorporated them into their own design. done.

    a gorgeous job.

    now – if they had tried to re-invent the wheel by simply stealing and dressing these elements up in a pretty bow to hide the fact that they “stole” them, THEN we could beat them with the “been there done that” argument.

    till then – wonderful and graceful job.

  • Chas

    The site plan drawing doesn’t agree with the renderings. the drawing (last image) has the plan surrounded by green space and trees, while the rendering (first image) shows a massive plaza surrounding the building.
    on the site plan, the parking lot is clearly an afterthought. needs to be integrated into the plan.

    those technical issues aside I really like the massing and sense of scale. very inspirational form.

  • al

    I see more of Rochamp in it but w/e I agree it’s certainly borrowing quite a lot of its elements. Take a whack of Corb, season with Ando, mix in with Zaha, bake in 3ds max for 2 and a half weeks and enjoy cold with a dry white render.

  • chicago_g

    i have to say that merely displaying some renderings here is a bit misleading for all the viewers, especially for the current china. Architecture is not only about images and concepts, but excution as well. i am afraid many architects in china can’t persist through the tedious and bittering process of realzing the architecture idea, due to the level of client’s expectation and understanding, as well as the overall low industial standard. let us see how it turns out a year later.

  • Michael

    3 seconds design work followed by 3 days rendering work.
    Back to the drawing board guys. This is not architecture.

    I also find the concept a little facile… the shape of a dove? Really? Well, I guess at least God will be looking down on it and may be able to figure it out….

  • lebu

    what the fuuuuuuuuuuunction :)))

  • Ingrid

    anarkyll. I disagree. it does look very eclectic. it is not well integrated. and too many unrelated schemes of effect put together – why the zaha-corb punched openings WITH Tadao’s cross ? look how awkward they look in that rendering put together side by side like that. They cross seems out of place, out of scale. it is unrelated and doesn’t fit. also the wall it is placed on – unlike Tadao’s original. doesn’t face the altar, or the main seating area. it is only strong they way Tadao used it. The singular source of light. without visible limits. and straight ahead in front of the devoted. otherwise- the way it has been used here. takes away so much of what is a very strong idea. it is as if the designer liked both schemes and could not choose one so he just threw both in.
    Now, about the rest of the church. as one object- one building. it is not integrated. it DOES look like they have taken beautiful elements from key masterpieces. But it does’nt seem to me that they have integrated them into anything. they are simply a collection of beautiful elements from key masterpieces that have been greatly reduced by this sad unfortunate project.
    the diamond windows at the front and the zaha-corb ones especially bother me. they are too different. unrelated approaches. in shape. size. function. and location. corb’s openings were not just “punched” they were punched through massive thick walls that curved and thickened (both in plan and in section). the openings “used” this monolithic quality of the walls. here. the walls do not thicken. nor in plan nor in section. they are definitely not monolithic – especially with the smooth and cool interiors. therefore the quality of the light and space is nothing like that at Ronchamps.
    the two corridors shown – if I didnt know otherwise id say they belong to two different projects.

    and i think its very sorry that the project resembles-so much- not only in plan but in all the provided views – a dove.

  • bto

    its just, not a good peace, seams like a souless building… (wich i found ironic seans its a church).

    little of creativity and a lot of formalisim on behave of the arquitect…

    Some how it remainds me like when a client come to you with a lot of magazines and ask for a windaow like in that picture a kitchen like another and so on

  • z99

    Sunlay Design Office has projects ranging from Tuscan style tract housing to works like the one featured on this page… I bet their design philosophy is cut and paste.

  • sarkis

    BEAUTIFUL WORK ! period

  • Joshua

    out of question