With the introduction of its chapel to the coast of Jinting Bay, O-office sought to create a new ‘Image of the Sea’ in Shanwei, China.
The architecture takes shape as a glowing, white beacon of light which seems to emerge organically from the sand, backed by the city’s waterfront cityscape of high rises and distant mountains beyond. This fishing town had been urbanized within the past thirty years, seeing rapid real estate development along the coastline — although fishermen have been living and working on this strip of the land and sea for generations, sailing out for extended periods of time.
The sea-facing side of the chapel is an elongated, vertical pillar of light. dramatically compressed and stretched, this façade is covered by a transparent upright window. The two geometries — horizontal and vertical — blend organically together to generate the curving body of the structure like an interstitial webbing. Toward the interior, this blended condition results in a sweeping ceiling which terminates with the stunning vertical frame, gazing out toward the horizon.