On holy ground: 5 of the best churches from around the world
From the birth of organised, or even unorganised, religion, architecture has played a big role in setting out the traditions and structure of belief - not least in giving devotees a place to gather and worship together.
Churches are pretty much one of the most recognisable buildings in many countries across the globe – or are they? That’s the big question WorldBuild365 asks you today.
While they have some common threads unifying places of worship for Christians, iconography and so on, the actual structure of the building itself can be left wide open to interpretation.
There are as many different church designs as there are individual branches of Christianity. Here, we pick out five unique, unusual churches from around the world, to show how different denominations and cultures build houses of the holy in contrasting contexts.
M.Y Village Baptists Church – JYArchitect + DCDAssociates – Taichung City, Taiwan
Now, depending on where you live, your image of a typical church will likely involve a bellower coupled with a triangular vaulted roof. Or, if you’re an Orthodox believer, you’re possibly picturing gold-topped onion domes and intricate iconography. Whatever your denominational preference, we bet you’re not thinking of a building like this.
While it’s clear from the illuminated cross perched high on the main volume’s central mass what this building’s purpose is, from the outset the M.Y Village Baptists Church doesn’t really look very church-like at all.
Instead, it takes the form of a mixed-use office building. And, in truth, that’s what this church is. Apart from the main meeting hall and auditorium, M.Y Village Baptists Church contains several auxiliary spaces plus the pastor’s private residence.
Stained glass is an iconic feature of thousands of churches, especially the more historic ones, and M.Y Baptists Church pays homage to that age-old tradition. Along its western façade are small punched windows and slanted walls encouraging light to pass through tinted glazing to burst technicolour shades into light inside – an idea influenced by modernist Le Corbusier’s work at the chapel in Ronchamp.
Images: © TCJ Space Photo
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