This striking chapel by London-based firm Steyn Studio and local TV3 Architects is located on the Bosjes Farm in the Witzenberg Municipality in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. It features a white, sculptural cast iron roof that undulates with parabolic and hyperbolic arches, which also form the supporting walls and columns of the structure.
Besides the massive roof, which was inspired in part by Cape Dutch architecture, the Bosjes Chapel’s other striking feature is its entirely glazed walls, which imbue the 420-square-meter (approximately 4,500-square-foot) space with a profound feeling of lightness. The windows and the lifting corners of the roof open up the chapel to the surrounding landscape of the Waaihoek Mountains as well as to a reflecting pool that leads to the entrance.
The structure’s design was also inspired by a passage from the Bible, from Psalm 36:7, which reads, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” These wings manifest in the roof’s baroque holbol gables (a feature of South African colonial architecture), which form peaks and valleys within the roof itself.
The chapel is placed on a stepped platform amid vineyards and a pomegranate orchard, and inside, the white ceilings and polished terrazzo floors create a spare interior scheme of wooden benches and a brass podium. Take a look.