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 said: “The Chamber Church aims to create a spatial container that both respects the past and looks towards the future. It shall provide a religious experience and secular touch. The lower part of the auditorium is divided into two parts: the semi-sunken space and the connected patio form a link to the surrounding landscape. It is embedded in the mountain and connected to the square. It is the hidden foundation on which the upper part of the auditorium can stand proud between the mountain and the water, reflecting the power of heaven and earth and spreading the gospel of creation. Looking backwards we find the archetypes of architectural associations in history. The design echoes the memories associated with them, but interprets them in a timeless modernity creating a sense of the future. The architecture integrates this duality in plan and section.
“To create a modern icon, we needed to create a pure shape, that’s still evokes the archetype of a church. Therefore, during the design process, we integrated different vernacular façade images of traditional churchs. The derived base volume is then expressed through a series of slices. The created contour meets the expectation of client and visitors of the space`s first visual impression. The sequential slices are introduced in a pure and modern way, whilst the gaps of the façade create various visual effects depending on the angle of the observer.
“The derived prototype still features the classic components associated with a church, such as the bell tower with spire and rose window, the cascading interior arches, and the Basilica layout, but most of the decorative elements are abstracted – not out of an aversion or rebellion against ornament, but in order to reveal both the interaction of archetype and experiment, and the core issue associated with it: divinity and ritual.