vector architects’ seashore chapel in china is a space for peaceful reflection

 

 

 

architecture in china: based on the beach of beidaihe new district – a popular beach resort in hebei province – beijing based firm vector architects has designed the architecture of ‘seashore chapel’ as a peaceful respite that considers landscape and natural ventilation. together with their project ‘seashore library‘, both schemes serve as spiritual spaces set by the ocean front.

 

 

‘we imagine the seashore chapel as an old boat drifting on the ocean long time ago. the ocean receded through time and left an empty structure behind, which is still lying on the beach.’vector architects

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all images © vector architects / chen hao

 

 

 

vector architects planned for the structure to be lifted at the base so when the tide rises, the building seemingly appears submerged and floating on the water. created as a spatial experience that engages all the senses, the journey towards the chapel begins with a 30 meter pathway that leads to the entrance of the chapel. on approach, the cue emerges indicating the suspended space on the other side through a 600mm wide gap set in the middle of the staircase. a constant view of the ocean is framed – further emphasized due to its elevated orientation.

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the materials used are concrete, white stucco and glass

 

 

 

inside, the floorplan is organized vertically. the pitched and high ceilings clad in textured white stucco and complemented with timber floors. behind the altar, a large ocean-view window floods the nave with natural light. a celebration of daylight is achieved in several approaches; the large window in the main space of worship to the few narrow openings in-between the walls diffuse a subtle glow. there are limited apertures throughout the scheme. on the east façade, a triangle window gently illuminates the cross from both bottom and up.

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stairs take visitors to the entrance

 

 

 

another source of lights comes from the top of the pitched roof where a 300mm gap between the curved wall on the north and the pitched roof. at the noon of spring, summer and fall, when the solar altitude is almost perpendicular, the light projects directly onto the wall on north, generating vivid lighting effect.  on the north side, there is a cantilevered space of meditation and the space itself can merely fit one person where the walls wrap your body tightly and lastly, an outdoor terrace offers a resting place for beach-goers.

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the raised based offers a sheltered area to sit an relax

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the man space of worship looks out to the ocean

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white stucco walls are illuminated softly by limited amount of apertures

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the design of this chapel considers natural ventilation comprehensively

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the chapel allows people to slow down, experience the nature and examine their inner state

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large window frames the beach at the beidaihe new district

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a 30 meter pathway takes visitors to the entrance

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seashore chapel by vector architects

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