RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE: NEW FACILITIES HONOR AWARD
Fuzhou City, Luoyuan County, China
Luoyuan is a town at the coast of Fujian, a Chinese province famous for tea production, its Hakka minority, and the ring- shaped vernacular architecture, the so-called “Tulou.” Since the 1990s it has grown from a hamlet to a city of 200,000 people. The program includes service venues for all generations, workstations, classrooms, a book-café, and a tea-house. The challenge of this project was to integrate a mixed-use-building with the dignity of a place of worship, and to retain a sense of Christian tradition and Chinese local authenticity.
The sanctuary offers refuge from the torments of a changing world, a place to find the peace to heal. The design emulates characteristics local believers are familiar with elements of the vernacular Tulou, like its concentric organization around a courtyard with tea pavilion and features of the adjacent countryside.
As a meditative counterpoint to the courtyard’s communitarian atmosphere, the service hall represents a space of seclusion directed at the individual believer. Enclosed by a double facade featuring 100,000 individual pieces of blue-colored glass, the sanctuary highlights the Christian element and embraces the interests of younger Chinese, eager to re-interpret their traditions within their contemporary context.
The glass is expertly chosen and carefully positioned on the wall to create the maximum effect of color gradations. It is often hard to make a design look random, so this interior is no small feat. The space is dazzling, achieved with simplicity of form and material.
Project Team Members
Lead Architect: Dirk U. Moench
Design Team: Gao Yuanquan, Lü Shenming, Sisi Zeng
Fuzhou CCBA Structure and Equipment Planning
TSW Art Glass, Shanghai Stained Glass Production
Dirk U. Moench Artistic Concept of the Façade
Shikai / INUCE Photography