Located in the picturesque coastal town of Beidaihe in China, the enchantingly beautiful Seashore Chapel transports visitors to an almost ethereal world of blue sky, pristine sea, bright sunlight and sandy vistas. Designed by the team at Vector Architects, this stunning white structure is fashioned in the shape of an old shipwrecked boat, standing atop stilts. According to the developers, it actually looks like a floating vessel when the tidal waters flow back on the shore.
Constructed on the beach adjoining the Bohai Sea near Beijing, the Seashore Chapel serves as religious as well as communal space. The building follows a somewhat similar design as the nearby Seashore Library, built last year by Vector Architects. While the latter boasts an earthy sand-colored exterior, the new structure can only be described as a vision in white, featuring laminated bamboo slate exterior covered with white stucco and spectacular glass curtain walls.
Measuring around 270-square-meter in area, the chapel comprises of two parts: a cozy outdoor space and the elevated building with quaint-looking gabled roof. The outdoor space, facing the sea, connects the “religious space to the mundane life”. As the team points out, the area gets easily submerged with incoming tide. The actual chapel can be accessed by means of a 30-meter-long staircase.
The building is lined with a large horizontal window on the eastern side, which in turn offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding seascape. The strategically placed windows are also meant to optimize the availability of natural lighting, while also shading the indoors from harsh, direct sunlight. The chapel also has a number of hidden windows for natural ventilation. Speaking about the project, the architects said:
Together with Seashore Library, [the Seashore Chapel] provides spiritual spaces at ocean front, where people can slow down their pace, experience the nature and examine their inner state.
To learn more about the Seashore Chapel and other projects by Vector Architects, head over to the firm’s official website.