Vector Architects was founded in 2008, in Beijing. Site, Light and Making are their major focuses. During ten years’ practice, they have always believed that “design needs to confront problems, and it should be the attitude an architect ought to possess.” We already mentioned the studio talking about the Alila Yangshuo Hotel (2018). One of their remarkable project (2015) is Seashore Chapel, located in Beidaihe – a seaside town east of Beijing.
The starting point for the chapel is based on an unusual concept: “We imagined an old boat drifting on the ocean long time ago. The ocean receded through time and left an empty structure behind, which is still lying on the beach.”
The space is divided vertically. The covered outdoor space naturally becomes a resting place for people on the beach. When the tide rises, this space will be submerged by water. The atmosphere on the upper floor is intensely divine and religious. The spatial experience begins on the 30 meters path leading to the chapel. When people gradually approach, the cue emerges indicating the suspending space on the other side through the 600mm wide gap in the middle of the grand staircases. With a glimpse of ocean in distance, they walk up the stairs, go through the gate, and make a turn around the screen wall into the space with unblocking ocean view. The relationship between space and the ocean is closer due to the elevated position. The view is isolated from the beach and people, leaving the outstretched ocean the only view in sight.
On the inside, the 270m2 chapel, offers a small office, a meditation room, and a mezzanine level for a piano player. A single material was chosen as the main element, concrete.
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Photography by Chen Hao, Shi Zheng / Aogvision