When blessed with a huge donation of Siberian red cedar wood in 2008, South Korean pastor Hong Jung Gil thought of using it to build a church for missionaries in a mountainside village just outside the capital city of Seoul. French-South Korean firm Shinslab Architecture ran with those premises and now, six years later, they've completed a 44,000-square-foot "Light of Life" Church that's simply divine. While the building has rooms for retreats, a restaurant, and cafe, the real showstopper is the central circular chapel space, resting under a hemispherical dome composed of 834 vertically-positioned red cedar trunks.
To accomplish this seemingly gravity-defying dome, the team fixed logs on the ground as "poles" for an expansive steel grid structure, on which a tree trunk would be suspended at each intersection. This structural system, guarded by a separate glass pyramid above, then becomes a rather satisfying filter of light into the worship space. Get a better sense of the effect in the photos, below:
· Light of Life Church / shinslab architecture + IISAC [Arch Daily]
· All Houses of the Holy posts [Curbed National]