Holy architecture—the Vatican City’s first ever exhibition for the Venice Architecture Biennale is now open. The Holy See’s pavilion, appropriately named Vatican Chapels, showcases a series of 10 chapels designed by architects from around the world, including Norman Foster, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Andrew Berman.
The experimental chapels sit outside of Venice on the wooded island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The brief asked architects to reinterpret the Woodland Chapel, a geometric structure designed by the Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund’s Woodland Chapel in the early 20th century. Naturally, the 10 architects each had their own take.
Norman Foster designed an angular, open air chapel built from wooden slats, while Spanish architects Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores created a terra-cotta hued adobe structure that invites visitors into a warm alcove.
Symbolically, each of the chapels represent one of the Ten Commandments. Practically, they take on even greater meaning: At the end of the Biennale, the structures will be dismantled and rebuilt in Italian towns that have been affected by devastating earthquakes.
Check out all of the designs here.