7 Modern Religious Buildings

by | 20. Oct 2014


brother-claus.jpgBrother Claus Field Chapel. Photo by Hélène Binet

Every religion has its own traditions, symbols and signifiers, resulting in strict sets of rules when it comes to the design and construction of their places of worship. So, designing a church, a mosque or a synagoge will inevitably be a dialogue between staying true to the religion’s historical and architectural traditions while at the same time attempting to incorporate modern elements.

O Studio Architects’ small curvy concrete church located in the Taoist Mountains in China, Church of Seed, and JKMM Architects’ stunning Viikki Church are more recent examples of that cleverly combines elements from modern architecture and traditional religious design.

Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos’ iconic Church of Senhora da Boa Nova and Álvaro Siza’s Santa Maria Church are remarkable examples of modern church designs that incorporate the surrounding city by creating new urban squares. In addition, the Church of Senhora da Boa Nova is combined with a community center, a primary school and an auditorium which are organized around a courtyard.

Peter Zumthor’s strikes a subtle balance between alignment with and renewal of tradition with his Brother Claus Field Chapel that creates truly unique spatialities by means of a construction technique that is both innovative and deeply rooted in tradition.

See more examples below.


Church of Seed
O Studio Architects
Huizhou, China


Brother Claus Field Chapel
Atelier Peter Zumthor
Mechernich, Germany


Church of Senhora da Boa Nova
Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos
Estoril, Portugal


Mortensrud Church
Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor
Oslo, Norway


Santa Maria Church
Álvaro Siza
Marco de Canavezes, Portugal


Viikki Church
JKMM Architects
Helsinki, Finland


Jubilee Church
Richard Meier & Partners
Rome, Italy