Stunning Contemporary Church

German-Chinese architecture practice Büro Ziyu Zhuang has completed a church in Qingdao, China, featuring walls and a tower made from dozens of spaced-out aluminium ribs.



Büro Ziyu Zhuang designed the Chamber Church as part of Chinese property developer Sunac's Aduo Town project in the Qingdao Zangma Mountain Tourism Resort.


The architects claimed that the building combines a religious experience with secular attitude, explaining that the church "aims to create a spatial container that both respects the past and looks towards the future," reports Dezeen. The church was built using a series of steel portal frames clad with glazing. Sixty aluminium fins uniformly distributed along the building's length form the walls, roof and tower.


The design borrows familiar elements from classical church architecture, such as the bell tower with its spire and rose window, the basilica layout, and the repeating interiors arches. These features are translated into simplified forms made up of vertical ribs.


The building is oriented east to west and is positioned at a point where the site slopes upwards, allowing the church to be raised above the plaza in front of it.


A manmade lake that surrounds the building provides privacy on all sides. Steps leading from the plaza to the entrance are flanked by terraced water features that enhance the sense of connection with the local nature.


Gaps between the ribs allow daylight to filter through and illuminate the interior with a soft glow. The sun's movement throughout the day alters the brightness of the space and the patterns of shadow cast on the floor.


"The cascading white slices soften the interior light while wrapping the main frame and construction system of the building, giving the entire assembly a concise and austere atmosphere which is both a contemporary aesthetic tendency and an echo of tradition – a fusion of heritage and contemporaneity," said the architects.

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