Cape Town’s Bosjes Chapel is in the running for the Arcaid Architectural Photography Awards 2017 — one of the world’s foremost photographic prizes. Nominated in the exterior category, the building, designed by Steyn Studio, explores an undulating concrete outer form that has been compared to a sting ray, and has become a globally celebrated example of nondenominational chapel architecture.
The architects describe their vision to Arch Daily:
“Its serene sculptural form emulates the silhouette of surrounding mountain ranges, paying tribute to the historic Cape Dutch gables dotting the rural landscapes of the Western Cape. Constructed from a slim concrete cast shell, the roof supports itself as each undulation dramatically falls to meet the ground. Where each wave of the roof structure rises to a peak, expanses of glazing adjoined centrally by a crucifix adorn the façade,” they say.
“Drawing poetic inspiration from Psalm 36:7, the crisp white form is conceived as a lightweight, and dynamic structure which appears to float within the valley. A reflective pond emphasises the apparent weightlessness of the structure. Elevated upon a plinth, the chapel rises from the flat land its sits upon, providing a hierarchical focal point within its surroundings. New planting including a vineyard and pomegranate orchard create a lush green oasis on the otherwise exposed site.”