portuguese architect álvaro siza has completed the design of a new church in northwestern france. in order to integrate the building into the neighborhood, a residential community south of rennes, siza chose to use white concrete — a material also seen in the nearby five-story housing blocks. the church of saint-jacques-de-la-lande, which has been documented below by joão morgado, is the first to be built in france’s brittany region in the 21st century.

alvaro siza church france
all images by joão morgado

 

 

the freestanding structure has been shaped and oriented in response to the existing plan and the dimensions of the nearby buildings and spaces. the ground level contains social and administrative areas, while the church itself, capable of accommodating up to 126 people, is found upstairs. a side chapel to the south contains the baptismal font, while a semicircular apse contains the tabernacle.

alvaro siza church france
the project is located in northwestern france

 

 

a square platform is suspended above the cylindrical space of the church to control light entering through the clerestory. consequently, the church is lit from above and indirectly, with natural light reflecting off the ceiling and the cylindrical walls. a basement contains technical and storage areas. circulation between the floors is via an elevator and two stairways, one of which is enclosed. white reinforced concrete has been used for the church’s load bearing walls, while the project’s interior is paved with marble.

alvaro siza church france
the church is the first to be built in france’s brittany region in the 21st century

alvaro siza church france
the freestanding structure has been shaped in response to neighborhood’s existing plan

alvaro siza church france
the church’s bell tower

alvaro siza church france
the church is capable of accommodating up to 126 people

alvaro siza church france
a side chapel to the south contains the baptismal font

alvaro siza church france
the ground level contains social and administrative areas

alvaro siza church france
wooden furniture is found throughout the building

alvaro siza church france
white reinforced concrete has been used for the structure’s load bearing walls

alvaro siza church france
see more projects by álvaro siza on designboom here

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