Churches have historically gotten a high percentage of the world's architectural attention, with the best engineers, masons, and stained glass craftsmen called upon to create ornate behemoths to display piety and, more aptly, wealth. These days, most of the care and attention goes into secular mega-projects, while the structures that were lovingly built over millennia have more modest design resources (with a few wacky, gorgeous exceptions). Architectural glory has been brought back in Kanagawa, Japan, where the concrete geniuses at Takeshi Hosaka Architects have built a contemporary church with six curved surface roofs and slatted skylights. In all, the new Shonan Christ Church has just the sort of minimalist light-filled meeting room that believers and Bauhaus fans could both love.
The gray concrete walls and blond wood pews essentially act as a vehicle for the one-story church's elaborate light ray situation. During morning services, the room is darkened, but when the services come close to finishing at noon, "direct sunlight begins to draw a ray of light on the wall surface," wrote the architect. The light "pours down like a shower at around three o'clock." During a full moon "direct moonlight shoots through a pitch-dark chapel." Have a look, below.
All photos by Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners via Takeshi Hosaka Architects