IN: Inspiration

Taking concrete to even greater heights

The sculptural, undulating concrete roof of this local chapel is #ArchitecturalGoals.


On the picturesque Bosjes Farm just outside Worcestor in Cape Town, surrounded by scenic mountains, vineyards and pomegranate orchards, lies the Bosjes Chapel with its unusually shaped and distinctive concrete roof. The futuristic-looking chapel was designed by UK practice Steyn Studio and South African studio TV3 Architects.

The surface of the cast-concrete roof rises and falls to create the strikingly white curves of the glass-walled chapel. At points, the roof form dips down to almost touch the surface of a pond surrounding the building, but lifts dramatically at the four corners.

Tall cross-shaped frames peek through at the highest point of the roof’s curve, with one of the frames adorned with the crucifix that is traditionally placed on the walls of churches. Inside, a golden pulpit that is stationed directly in front of this crucifix, gleams through the glass windows. Inside, the designers adopted a minimal approach with the use of polished terrazzo flooring and simple wooden benches.

The architects drew inspiration for the form from a biblical passage from Psalm 36:7: “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

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,” says Steyn Studio, which is led by South-African born Coetzee Steyn.

The building is elevated on a plinth that stands level with the water, which at night makes the roof appear as though it is hovering just above a pool located at the back of the chapel.

“The crisp white form is conceived as a lightweight and dynamic structure which appears to float within the valley,” explain the architects. “A reflective pond emphasizes the apparent weightlessness of the structure.”

Construction of the chapel began in 2011 and was completed in 2016. Bosjes Chapel officially opened to the public in March 2017.

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