Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

,Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

Chinese architecture studio O-office Architects has designed a chapel,

which opens a narrow, vertical window on the seashore in Shanwei, China.

Design Features

The 384-square-meter church, named the Chapel of the Jinting Bay, is located in Shanwei,

known for the historic fishing communities and trading settlements that feed on the vast South China Sea.

The curved structure starts from the ground and takes its entrance and heads towards the sea with a beautiful and smooth transition,

where the narrow and large window, is the main element that creates its connection with the sea.

Shanwei was originally part of the central coastal location of Haifeng District,

occupying more than 10% of the length of the county’s coastline, and a marine area three times the landmass.

Traces of tribal settlements of fishermen have been found as early as the Neolithic period,

and the unique climate and geographical location have created a peaceful human atmosphere and landscapes of mountains and seas.

The flowing interior directs visitors to the large window based on a simple design,

the entire program is perceived as compressed between two surfaces.


Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore


Design shape

The architects describe the building as a “sculpture of the sea” that creates a “new spiritual and pictorial anchor”,

for this rapidly emerging coastal city, where the church aims to re-establish the relationship between city, land and sea.

With the new round of infrastructure construction,

the capital has flocked from the central cities to these fishing towns in search of tourism opportunities and landscape resources.

New towns began to be built in these long-neglected areas in the middle of expanding towns and fishing villages.

The construction introduced a new city style to the local natural and human landscape,

giving rise to a heterogeneous variant of the pre-existing high density city.

Which soon filled the gap between them, leading to a new urbanization process driven by real estate production along the coast.

As we advance westward along the shore, round the hills, we come to the town of Mahjong,

an ancient fishing town still earning a living.

The city welcomed visitors with bustling markets and fishing boat lines on the beach.

As the studio describes, there are huts in the city that are multi-storeys built by the residents themselves,

and these huts have been completed according to their property networks.

The village has already shown the urbanization trend that is being stimulated by the seafood trade,

and the newly developed tourism industry.


Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore


Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

From this design the architects aim to create this “new image of the sea”,

with a perspective parallel to history.

When they were commissioned to design a ceremonial place of worship,

they intended to emphasize and finish the central axis of this fledgling city facing the sea.

The façade of the prayer hall next to the city contains a horizontal area with an aspect ratio of approximately 1:10.

Inside, the abstract forms of the traditional screen, such as the courtyard and the hall,

are spread horizontally against the central axis of the new city.

This allows visitors to feel amidst the spiritual repository in the middle of the urban jungle.

Visitors reach the building via a 36-meter shaded and paved walkway at the edge of the shallow pool,

providing the perfect setting and platform for the scenery.

The visitor can also understand how the building is formed when seeing the entrance,

and can understand that the land continues on a slope.


Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

The architects greatly press the sea side façade and extend it into a lighthouse on the ocean’s edge.

The narrow, vertical façade is wrapped in a transparent straight window with an aspect ratio of approximately 5:1,

secludedly facing the boundless ocean.

“The ascending sky and sea are the end of the festive progress,

as well as the start of the wild imagination of nature,” the team explained.


For more architectural news


Apartment design over a forest of steel columns

One thought on “Zigzag church design with vertical window on the seashore

  1. Pingback: New design revealed for Hopkins Center for the Arts - ArchUp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *