Seashore Chapel, prayers over the sea

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Wordship places are always quiet and sometimes isolated. In this case, Chinese Studio Vector Architects has designed one that is also ‘floating’ over the sea. Seashore Chapel is a concrete chapel located in Beidaihe, a seaside town east of Beijing, and it is raised up over concrete columns to be the closest building to the sea.

Seashore Chapel is raised over columns to increase the spirituality of the visit

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Depending on the tide levels, Seashore Chapel changes its aspect: on a low tide a shelter appears underneath the structure, while the tide is high the building is submerged and starts separating from land, lake it would be floating. It was conceived by the architects as an old boat drifting on the ocean, that left an empty structure behind. Program is simple, an entrance, a grand staircase that can be used as informal seating area, a central space and a big balcony facing the ocean. The roof canopy acts as a bell tower, covering the entrance to this 270 sqm chapel that also contains a toilet, a small office, a meditation room and a mezzanine level for a piano player.

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Ligthing and materials are also important in Seashore Chapel. Concrete is coated with white stucco in both interior and exterior, what gives the building a lot of texture. When light enters through the different concealed openings, it creates lines of colour across the interior, projecting on the wall and emphasizing its texture. Finally, depending on the time of the day, it illuminates a cross nestled into a wall recess.

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Photography is by Chen Hao.

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