axis mundi: cathedral fold
axis mundi: cathedral fold
apr 20, 2011

axis mundi: cathedral fold

‘cathedral fold’ by axis mundi in strasbourg, france
all images courtesy axis mundi

new york-based architecture office axis mundi has designed ‘cathedral fold’, a 2,322 m2 place of worship
in strasbourg, france. composed of a series of pleated concrete arches, the proposal features both
subtle and dramatic design characteristics that together create a new and contemporary place of worship.

axis mundi: cathedral fold
detail of concrete folds

glazed in between the folds of the concrete roof form, the cathedral opens up to the north and the south,
supplying a generous volume of light for the interior space. the floor plan is plugged into the site,
submerging the ‘cruciform’ layout below grade. a low-angle ramp leads the visitors into the cathedral
where the foundational footings of the concrete folds accent the space in a rhythmic manner.

axis mundi: cathedral fold
lit from within

the design utilizes an abstraction of a gothic cathedral in its exterior expression on the east facade.
overlooking the entry ramp, a relief of the iconic form finished in a pixelated pattern casts a shadow
on the surface which gradually disappears during the course of the day. subtle in its execution,
the design serves as a dynamic and three-dimensional signage for the cathedral.

axis mundi: cathedral fold
relief of abstracted gothic cathedral on east facade

axis mundi: cathedral fold
interior view

axis mundi: cathedral fold
night view

axis mundi: cathedral fold
sectional model

axis mundi: cathedral fold

axis mundi: cathedral fold
from above

axis mundi: cathedral fold
pulled-apart schematic diagram

project info:

area: 2,322 m2
design team: john beckmann, masaru ogasawara, viviane liao
renderings and diagram: viviane liao, masaru ogasawara

  • Is the building on fire in the night view???

  • Obviously there was a rendering-DIAGRAM team!!! I mean, it seems the diagram was an afterthought and not a design tool for them. Nice model and rendering, though

  • Very cool!

  • A dynamic and innovative structure for the indoctrination of minds into a bronze-age cult of human sacrifice. Yay!

    Can one ever truly separate the perception of the form with it’s intended use without a bit of mental fudging? I prefer my experience of a good building to be uncluttered with psychological compartmentalization, personally.

    What if this were a prison? Or a slaughterhouse? Wouldn’t it be a sick joke?

    : )
  • I have serious doubts about the structure. I think the built object will not be that “clean”.

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