Exterior the city of Almadén, in central Spain, nestled on a scrubby hillside, there's a chapel. You’d be forgiven for considering it's an artwork gallery, or maybe a very trendy-trying vineyard, or the residence of an eccentric tech mogul. Planes of concrete fold into each other, creating elegant, extreme triangular surfaces that body a wood doorway marked by tapering planes of glass. However inside there's solely daylight—and a cross. Generally known as the Valleaceron Chapel, it was designed for the property by the structure agency S-M.A.O. in 2001. It's also only one of ,000 mesmerizing examples of extraordinary modern buildings in the new Phaidon guide Destination Architecture.
The guide covers buildings in 70 international locations round the world, and isn't restricted to spiritual buildings. It contains all the pieces from skyscrapers to libraries, and airports to museums. However the church buildings and chapels stand out as departures from standard expectations of spiritual structure—devoid of stained glass home windows, hovering vaulted ceilings, or stone cherubs. As a substitute these homes of worship embrace stark strains and a spread of supplies: copper, aluminium, timber, concrete, and stone.
In Tainan, China, the Tainan Tung-Males Holiness Church is a sq. concrete constructing, with a facade elegantly sheathed in rose-coloured aluminum screens. Finland’s Kärsämäki Church incorporates the outdated and the new—18th-century constructing strategies on the web site of an outdated church, with a shingled exterior topped not with a spire, however with a lantern-formed skylight. In Acapulco, Mexico, the hexagonal Sundown Chapel seems to defy gravity. Its slim base provides method to an elevated chapel that faces contemplatively, out to sea.
Get a take a look at these sacred areas and extra, with Atlas Obscura’s choice of photos from the guide.