Architects: Atelier 11 Location: Tianjin, China Director: Xu Lei Design Team: Xu Lei, Li Han, Meng Haigang Construction Drawing: Li Han, Tang Xiaoxi Project area: 1,732 sqm Project year: 2009 – 2011 Photographs: Courtesy of Atelier 11
Designed by the Chinese architecture studio Atelier 11, this is a church located in Pan Long Gu, a national scenic area at Ji County in the city of Tianjing, China. As a religious facility built for a neighboring Spanish-style residential development, the design of the church takes the reference from the European architectural language and at the same time reflects the understanding of Chinese philosophy in relationship between human spirits and nature.
A bold cut on the exterior structure of the church creates a sculptural form for the architecture. With the combination of design elements like ramp, staircase, sloped roof and suspended ceiling, a diverse interior space is formed to present interesting interactions between the nature and architecture.
Measuring 1,732 sqm in area, the church consists of two chapels. The main chapel faces towards the mountains. A huge staircase in the main chapel will house the pulpit and choir. The long window at the end of the staircase displays a wide view of the mountains in the far distance. The second chapel is located on the top of the main chapel. A triangular sky window gives the prayers a sensational view to the vast sky. A terrace outside the second chapel provides the space for outdoor activities.
Giving the full access to its beautiful natural surroundings, the church borrows the power of nature to exert spiritual influence on the prayers indoors, and may bring them a different experience in the spiritual purification through their religion. The construction is to be completed in 2011.