In the coastal town of Beidaihe near Beijing, there’s a beautiful white chapel that’s both art installation and religious space.
Designed by Vector Architects, the Seashore Chapel looks like it’s floating on water – but only when high tide comes around. Inspired by an old shipwrecked boat, its façade features stilts that protect it from the waves coming in.
The 27-square-metre building is divided into two areas. The first involves a bare outdoor space facing the sea, allowing church-goers to effortlessly move from its sacred halls towards – what the architects call as – ‘the mundane life’.
Once the tides roll in, this area is completely covered, creating the illusion of buoyancy.
The second area features a staircase that leads inside the elevated chapel. Once indoors, visitors find solace from the heat, with the prayer room lit by minimal natural light. This dark interior also provides a stunning contrast to the panoramic view of the beach, just behind the altar.
“Together with Seashore Library, [the Seashore Chapel] provides spiritual spaces at ocean front, where people can slow down their pace, experience nature and examine their inner state,” the firm said.
You can find out more about Vector Architects here.