Intelligent Design? 14 Strikingly Modern Places of Worship

Miami Chapel
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Modeled on the pleated gown worn by the Lady of Guadalupe, this chapel by Mexican firm Fernando Romero EnterprisE (FR-EE) is envisioned as a modern Catholic church for Miami. Inside, small sanctuaries contained within each of the pleats are devoted to 27 other Latin American virgins. The twisted tower will create a spire over the altar, topped with a stained glass skylight.

Ecumenical Chapel, Finland
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ESA Architects designed this beautiful Ecumenical Chapel in Finland, giving it a minimalist timber interior and capping it with a striking cutout of a tree set against the glass.

St. Francis Convent Church by David Closes
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Old meets new in this beautiful junction of architectural eras, with a glass addition clinging to the aging brick of the Sant Francesc Convent in Santpedor, Spain. Architect David Closes restored and rejuvenated the formerly crumbling 18th century church, integrating an auditorium and multifunctional cultural center while maintaining the structure’s historical integrity. “Rather than reconstructing the church,t he intervention has just consolidated the old fabric, clearly distinguishing the new elements that are executed of the original ones,” says Closes. “The intervention has consolidated the church without deleting the process of deterioration and collapse that the building had suffered.”

St. Francis Chapel Room of Meditation
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Inspired by the life of St. Francis, architect Rafael Hintersteiner created a monolithic concrete volume serving as a meditation room, emphasizing the visitor’s connection to nature. Open to the sky, the cubic room doesn’t exactly follow conventional principles of chapel design, but its simplicity is highly symbolic, and its solidity gives guests a sense of being grounded and protected.