Looks Like Heaven
Design and spirituality unify places of worship around the world
Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 7/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Sinai Temple, Springfield, Massachusetts
DESIGN Warren Platner.
STANDOUT Interior Design Hall of Fame member Warren Platner, known for understated modernism, reached for otherworldly exuberance with saturated purples and reds woven into striking architectural abstractions.
PHOTOGRAPHY Ezra Stoller/Esto.
Bruder-Klaus-Feldkapelle, Mechernich, Germany
DESIGN Atelier Zumthor.
STANDOUT The concrete exterior of this single-room chapel commands attention, and the triangular entry intrigues—but all eyes turn upward inside, where light from an oculus pierces the dark.
PHOTOGRAPHY Thomas Mayer/Artur.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel, Cambridge
DESIGN Eero Saarinen and Associates.
STANDOUT There may be no windows in this cylindrical brick structure, however sunlight receives its due, courtesy of a shimmering Harry Bertoia metal sculpture that cascades from a circular skylight to the altar.
PHOTOGRAPHY Roland Halbe/Artur.
Notre-Dame-du-Haut, Ronchamp, France
DESIGN Le Corbusier.
STANDOUT Thick concrete seems soft, almost pliable, as expressed in the irregular forms that compose the chapel's walls and roof.
PHOTOGRAPHY Roland Halbe.
Saint-Nicolas, Hérémence, Switzerland
DESIGN Walter Maria Förderer.
STANDOUT Concrete volumes stack asymmetrically, resembling a Native American pueblo from the outside; the interior is punctuated by wooden elements.
PHOTOGRAPHY Jürgen Henkelmann/Artur.
Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, Mogno, Switzerland
DESIGN Mario Botta Architetto.
STANDOUT Aside from a glazed roof, this church is enveloped, inside and out, by alternating runs and blocks of gray Riveo granite and white Peccia marble—both native to the region.
PHOTOGRAPHY Wolfram Janzer/Artur.