A Tour of the World's Most Unrepentantly Modern Churches – Atlas Obscura

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.

Sunset Chapel, Esteban Suárez and BNKR, 2011, Brisas del Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico.
Sundown Chapel, Esteban Suárez and BNKR, 2011, Brisas del Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico. Courtesy Esteban Suárez and BNKR

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 Finland’s Kärsämäki Church incorporates the outdated and the new—18th-century constructing strategies on the web site of an outdated church, with a shingled exterior topped not with a spire, however with a lantern-formed skylight.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.

Suvela Chapel, OOPEAA, 2016, Espoo, Finland.
Suvela Chapel, OOPEAA, 2016, Espoo, Finland. Mika Huisman
Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church, MAYU, 2015, Tainan, China.
Tainan Tung-Males Holiness Church, MAYU, 2015, Tainan, China. Shawn Liu Studio
Viimsi St. James Church, Martin Aunin, 2007, Haabneeme, Estonia.
Viimsi St. James Church, Martin Aunin, 2007, Haabneeme, Estonia. Arne Maasik
Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel, AZL, 2014, Nanjing, China.
Nanjing Wanjing Backyard Chapel, AZL, 2014, Nanjing, China. Yao Li
Kärsämäki Church, OOPEAA, 2004, Kärsämäki, Finland.
Kärsämäki Church, OOPEAA, 2004, Kärsämäki, Finland. Jussi Tiainen
Church of St. Mary of the Angels, WOHA, 2003, Bukit Batok, Singapore.
Church of St. Mary of the Angels, WOHA, 2003, Bukit Batok, Singapore. Tim Griffith
Suzhou Chapel, Neri & Hu, 2016, Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou, China.
Suzhou Chapel, Neri & Hu, 2016, Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou, China. Pedro Pegenaute
Parish Church Señor de la Misericordia, Moneo Brock, 2016, Monterrey, Mexico.
Parish Church Señor de la Misericordia, Moneo Brock, 2016, Monterrey, Mexico. Jorge Taboada
Church of Seed, O Studio, 2011, Luofu Mountain, Huizhou, Guangdong, China.
Church of Seed, O Studio, 2011, Luofu Mountain, Huizhou, Guangdong, China. Iwan Baan
<em>Vacation spot Structure</em>.
Vacation spot Structure. Courtesy Phaidon

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A Tour of the World's Most Unrepentantly Modern Churches - Atlas Obscura