Top 8 churches with unique architecture

Top 8 churches with unique architecture

Genesis Floating Church

Denizen Works built a floating church on the east canal in London, which had a roof that could be controlled by the church’s organ bellows. Currently anchored near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Genesis Church is a mobile space that is both a church and a community hub.


Genesis was developed by Denizen Works with Turks Shipyard and naval architect Tony Tucker in response to a contest organized by the Church of London to form new congregations in the capital. The church is known for its expandable roof and takes its cues from the church’s organ bellows and is designed to pull attraction.


The roof is powered by hydraulic rods and made of translucent, LED-lined translucent sail fabric, which aims to create a beacon that glows when extended. The roof can be easily lowered at the touch of a button, transforming the chapel into a compact and low structure for easy passage through London’s narrow canal tunnels.


The exterior of the boat is painted in traditional maritime tones, decorated with zigzag patterns on the roof. This motif continues to be used below, on windowsill panels, tiled in the kitchen and on furniture legs.


The main hall is designed as a gallery with neat, minimalistic details, but can be converted into a space like a hall 3.6 meters high when the roof is raised. Custom made furniture to accommodate a variety of home community activities.


Furniture, designed by local design firm Plyco, including plywood chairs and foldable tables stored below the deck. Its capacity ranges from 40 to 60 people.The Genesis church’s interior is complete with a flat altar designed by Denizen Works, made from the leftover material of the above interior.


Blessed House designed by Atelier Štěpán

Design studio Atelier Štěpán built a circular church in a residential complex in Brno, topped by a rainbow-colored glass door. The design is dedicated to nurse Maria Restituta Kafka, who was born about 600 meters from the present building.


The circular church and the adjacent triangle tower were built with the sacred center designed by Zdeněk Bureš, not only that Atelier Štěpán also left the church material made of concrete to become a place to pray, the way away from the bustle of modern life.

The walls of the church are left blank with the only decoration of light shining through the rainbow-colored glass windows that are 80 meters long that surrounds the concrete top. When the light shines through these windows and illuminates the concrete dome in a variety of patterns depending on the time of day.

In addition to a small stage with triangular doors leading into the cathedral and a series of small square windows, the main auditorium was separated only by the entrance and a stairway leading to two balconies on the first floor. These curved concrete balconies provide seating for choirs and extra seats for sheep.

Atelier Štěpán chose the circle for the church because this shape is a religious symbol for heaven and eternity. According to the architect, the concrete dome above the window ring represents paradise on top of the city. In the auditorium, it is impossible to see the windows at the top of the building, because the architect wants to create a sense of the unknown inside the building.

Next to the church, the concrete triangle tower is also where you have a panoramic view of the city of Brno. From the tower, a bridge connects to the church leading to the gallery above the main auditorium with stained-glass windows.

The dome church is made of CLT (laminated wood) designed by Nicholas Pople

Nicolas Pople Architects created a multi-layered wooden church for a church in the town of Stroud, southwest England. Built for the Christian Community in Stroud, this church is made from a combination of laminated wooden planks (CLT) and glulam laminated structural beams (glulam). Architect Nicolas Pople worked with engineer Corbett Tasker to create a multifaceted CLT structure, designed to evoke the feel of a contemporary gothic cathedral.

In the main chapel, the walls and roof are made from angular parts of CLT following an exposed structure. Architects wanted to create a space with interesting geometries, but the lines were clear and did not lose the sense of the Christian Community activities going on.

The design team chose to build the structure from CLT because it allowed them to redesign the curved domes of the gothic churches in a modern way with sustainable materials. The wooden structural walls are covered in white, while the cedar wood shingles are used as the church’s roof.

The church is completely porcelain

Architect Espen Surnevik collaborated with Trodahl Architects to design a geometrical and porcelain covered church in Porsgrunn city, Norway. Surnevik’s modern church replaced Porsgrunn’s 18th-century church which was destroyed in a fire in 2011.

Surnevik aims to create a modern church suitable for the 21st century, but brings the look to the previous building and the broader religious architectural history. The church carries 11 different geometric blocks arranged by height based on their importance.

Designed to draw attention to the building, the tower is the tallest place, followed by a pair of chapels at its feet. Six short structures surround the main hall of the church, containing other rooms including the altar room and organ, while the spaces are the shortest in size at the rear of the building. Each shape is tilted to match the oblique angle of the pyramid of 3.3 degrees.

The new church was built on top of the burned old building with the texture and white of the lost church. The entire exterior and much of the interior of the building are clad in porcelain, a material produced in the city during the 20th century.

Okimene Church (Indonesia)

Jakarta-based TSDS Interior Architecture firm built a worker church on a rubber plantation in Sajau, Indonesia, using leftover wood from neighboring localities. The architectural and interior workshop selected to complete the entire structure, along with the exterior and interior facades, from wood to create a unified architectural appearance for the church.


Built as part of the corporate responsibility program of Indonesian rubber plantation company PT.KMS, the church is made from Bangkirai, Kapur, Meranti and Rimba wood sourced from the local forestry industry.

The overall structure of the church is inspired by the shapes of Rumah Betang’s traditional stretching houses on the island of Borneo, where the church was built. It has a large main hall with two small rooms for pastors. At the back there is a mezzanine, designed for use by musicians.

The church’s interior walls and roof, as well as its furniture, are made of wood. Although the climate here can be extremely hot, the building is designed to be comfortable without artificial cooling. A raised roof is constructed to create cross ventilation and the building is shielded with Rimba wooden shingles.

St Georg’s Church (Germany)

German design firm Architektur3 has added a triangular tower and viewpoint at St Georg’s Church in Bleibach, at the intersection of three valleys in the Black Forest. The multi-layered wooden tower was designed as the last piece of the church, formed from a large hall in the 1970s.

Architektur3 has designed the tower based on an equilateral triangle to highlight its position – the intersection of three valleys in the Black Forest. As well as being an easily recognizable landmark, the tower has a tall observation deck with the church bell at the top.

The public observatory, located below the bell, is led up by a spiral, triangular staircase within the tower. The 33-meter-high tower is built from laminated wood made of local silver fir trees with an Accoya mantle.

Although the tower is based on a triangle, at the meeting point of three valleys and three is an important number in Christianity, the height of the tower is not in the calculation for this relationship.

Church of Castel di Lama (Italy)

Parma-based Contini Architettura has built a church, parish hall and sports club around a new public square in the village of Castel di Lama, Italy. Contini Architettura has relied on the arrangement of traditional Italian town centers to design the complex, including religious and community buildings.

The church occupies one side of the square with a series of community buildings running along. The other side is behind a row of upright stone pillars with the other two sides covered by low walls.

The first of the four community buildings is a parish hall that can accommodate 130 people. Next is a row of houses containing the rectory offices, then a sports court next to a bar, and finally a locker suite. Contini Architettura wants to consolidate all buildings through their scale and by using a palette of similar materials together.

The studio designed the church, marked by an independent bell tower, to distinguish this as a religious building, not a complex. The church stands behind a screen made of large travertine blocks, with a glass wall providing a view of the main hall.

In the main hall of the church, an elliptical structure extends from the ceiling to the central seating area. The four rooms in the corners of the building contain the confessional, the chapel, the clinic and the church’s toilets.

John Paul II Wild Church (Hungary)

Pope John Paul II’s Church in Páty, Hungary, is a crescent-shaped building with skewed corners and whitewashed concrete that aims to turn “observers” into pious sheep.

Architect Robert Gutowski has filled the church in the village of Páty in Budapest with modern features that have traditional aspects of medieval, ecclesiastical architecture. The purpose is to turn the focus on the altar and the congregation to make the act of worship more attractive.

Traditional churches often have a rectangular plan consisting of a nave – the central part of the church – and the top – a semicircle or polygonal area at the end of the aisle, usually behind the altar. However, Pope John Paul II’s church has an elliptical layout, made up of a crescent-shaped church building that surrounds an oval-shaped outdoor space. Hence, what is usually the nave of a church is now used as a church courtyard or garden, while the worship space is placed in the back.

Some rooms connect to the central service area, including the common room, service room and office, education room, living room, priest’s living area and the entrance to the bell tower on the first floor. The rooms here are enclosed in an elliptical design – a form chosen to symbolize “eternity”.

The vaulted ceiling design, made from reinforced concrete, is lined with illuminated lights for areas such as altars or surrounding niches containing religious artwork. A rectangular cut in the ceiling also provides natural light for the room, directed specifically towards the center towards the altar.

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