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  • 01.07.15

12 Beautiful Modern Worship Spaces

The latest in religious architecture: a prayer room in Thailand, a streamlined Catholic church, and a convent that looks like a condo.

Religious architecture has been shaped by traditions that span thousands of years. But the times are changing. It’s not all soaring cathedrals and stained glass any more.

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Faith and Form, a journal exploring intersections between religion, art, and architecture, honored dozens of projects in the 2014 International Awards for Religious Art & Architecture, many of which reimagine the long-established norms of what a mosque, or interfaith chapel, or convent can look like.

Proyecto Clamor de Paz in Guaimaca, Honduras Photo: Paul Lukez Architecture

The winners, chosen from a pool of more than 130 entries, are notable in their willingness to diverge from the architectural traditions of the long-established religions they aim to serve. “They are willing to explore other avenues in those traditions,” as one juror wrote, “to reinvent them, to start new traditions, perhaps.” A Catholic chapel eschews steeples and bell towers for a flat masonry facade. A glass-sheathed Saudi Arabian mosque appears to float above a reflective pool at night. A prayer space in Thailand features a thatched roof and bulbous masonry walls, like a cluster of forest mushrooms. A curvaceous Canadian residence for nuns looks as stunning as any new condo project.

Here are some of the best new projects selected by the jury (a combination of artists, architects, designers, and clergymen).

[via ArchDaily]

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.

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