Faith Lift: 14 Modern Churches Reinvent Religious Architecture

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects +

Located in a dense urban area, this unusual contemporary church offers public space on the bottom floor, including a coffee shop and bookstore. MAYU architects + gave it a minimalist concrete-form exterior covered in a feather-like aluminum screen that effectively shade the interior while alluding to eagles, a frequent symbol in the bible.

Church of Knarvik by Reiulf Ramstad

Clad entirely in timber, the stunning Church of Knarvik by Reiulf Ramstad draws from traditional Norwegian church architecture and the jagged shape of the region’s mountains, while abstracting and modernizing them with an angular, faceted facade.

Martin Luther Church Hainburg by Coop Himellb(l)au

Located in Hainburg, Austria, the Martin Luther Church Hainburg by Coop Himmelb(l)au features a curving, amorphous exterior form pierced by three large openings to allow natural daylight to flood the interior.

Zhangjiagang Church by RSAA

Overlapping metal fins give the inside of this church proposal by RSAA a sculptural, almost skeletal appearance. Positioned about 7 inches apart, the curving, rounded fins give the space a dramatically different appearance depending on where you stand.

St. Voile Chapel by Kasahara Design Work

The modest brick exterior of Kasahara Design Work’s St. Voile Chapel gives no indication of the intricate beauty to be found inside. The wedding chapel, set on the banks of the Shinano River in Japan, features a series of pipes rising vertically from either wall to symbolically join at the peak of the roof.