coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-01
UK firm steyn studio has completed the design of a chapel in south africa’s western cape province. set within a vineyard, the building’s sculptural form mirrors the outline of the surrounding mountain ranges, while simultaneously referencing the region’s distinctive cape dutch architecture. noticeably designed without a traditional spire, the roof canopy has been constructed from a slim, concrete cast shell.

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
all images courtesy of steyn studio

 

 

designed by south african-born coetzee steyn of steyn studio, the undulating roof of ‘bosjes chapel’ rises and falls dramatically. expanses of glazing, formed where each wave of the canopy rises to a peak, are adjoined by symbolic crosses. elevated on a plinth, the crisp white form is bordered by a reflective pond positioned to emphasize its apparent weightlessness. the building is also flanked by a lush vineyard and pomegranate orchard.

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
the building’s sculptural form mirrors the outline of the surrounding mountain ranges

 

 

internally, a large, open assembly space has been formed within a simple rectangular plan. the whitewashed ceiling casts an array of shadows throughout the day, while polished terazzo floors help reflect light. a neutral material palette not only allows parishioners to focus on prayer, but also enables the framed views of the surrounding landscape to take prominence.

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
set within a vineyard,  the chapel is noticeably designed without a traditional spire

 

 

in order to maintain the purity of the scheme’s structural form, the architects chose to hide elements of the building’s functional program discretely within the plinth, or even inside the outer corners of the adjacent garden. designed to be a welcoming and inviting structure, the chapel extends outwards into the valley, embracing its natural setting.

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
expanses of glazing are adjoined by symbolic crosses

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
a large, open assembly space has been formed within a simple rectangular plan

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
the whitewashed ceiling casts an array of shadows throughout the day

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
polished terazzo floors help reflect light

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
a neutral material palette enables the views of the surrounding landscape to take prominence

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
the undulating roof rises and falls dramatically

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
the building is flanked by a lush vineyard and a pomegranate orchard

coetzee-steyn-studio-bosjes-chapel-western-cape-south-africa-designboom-02
the scheme references the region’s distinctive cape dutch architecture

 

 

 project info:

 

start on site: 2013
completion: december 2016
gross floor area: 430 sqm
location: bosjes farm, witzenberg district, western cape, south africa
design architect: steyn studio (UK)
client: confidential
project architect: TV3 architects (south africa)
furniture design: liam mooney studio
contractor: longworth & faul
structural engineer: henry fagan & partners
mechanical & electrical engineer: solution station
quantity surveyor: de leeuw
planning consultant: ron brunings
landscape architect: CNdV landscape architects
heritage consultants: graham jacobs, elzet albertyn & lize malan

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