Peter Zumthor, in one of his most emblematic works, gives concrete an almost sacred dimension. The work in question is the small Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, located in a small village in Germany, a construction that is both robust and sensitive. Built with white cement, which was mixed with stones and sand from the region, the chapel is composed of 24 layers of concrete that were poured day after day by local labor, and compressed in an unusual way. The building's flat and smooth exterior contrasts with its interior, which was initially made of inclined wooden logs forming a triangular void. To remove these internal forms, the logs were set on fire in a controlled process, reducing them to ash and creating a carbonized interior that varied between black and gray and retained the texture of the negatives of the logs. The result is a masterpiece of architecture, a space for reflection and transformation, in which the same material appears in diametrically opposing ways.
Constructing places of worship has always been an intricate practice, managing to detach the human, and release the boundary between body, mind, and spirit. Holy presence has been crucial in designing and constructing sacred places, which is why almost all religious building possessed similar characteristics: grandiosity, monolithic material, natural elements, and a plan that compliments an individual’s circulation through the space. Contemporary religious structures, however, found a way to adapt to the evolution of architecture. Unlike the Gothic or Baroque periods, modern-day architecture does not have a dominant identity. It is, in fact, a combination of postmodernism, futurism, minimalism, and everything in between. Architects have found a way to transform these exclusive, religion-devoted places into structures of spirituality, manifestation, and fascination.
Here is a selection of contemporary religious buildings that prove once again that architects are breaking all boundaries of creativity.
Bars are the perfect meeting place to finish the day in the company of friends and a few drinks. The relaxed atmosphere and lighting allow intimate discussions around tables, while the social butterflies can instead meet around the focal element of the space, the bar.
The atmosphere provoked by the mixture of textures, smells, materials, and darkness—ideally accompanied by a cocktail menu—is an essential component in helping us find our favorite watering holes. Read on for a selection of 15 incredible examples of this typology, with images by prominent photographers such as Frank Herfort, Serena Eller Vanicher, and Yann Deret.
Of all construction materials, concrete is perhaps the one that allows the greatest diversity of finishes and textures. The mixture of its ingredients, the shape and texture of the formwork, and the pigmentation of the materials all offer the opportunity to achieve an interesting design. This week we've prepared a selection of 10 inspiring images of innovative concrete, taken by renowned photographers such as Gonzalo Viramonte, Song Yousub, and Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal.