Monday, 19 October 2020

Czech church best sacred architecture of 2017 in Azure poll

2 January 2018

Prague, Dec 29 (CTK) - The new St Wenceslas church in Sazovice, south Moravia, has been listed among the world's top ten buildings and declared the best sacred architecture of 2017 by the prestigious Azure magazine, daily Pravo wrote on Friday.

On the top ten list, the church, designed by the Brno-seated Stepan studio, figures together with projects such as the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi and the swimming pool in Vancouver.

Azure is a North American magazine focused on contemporary design, architecture, products and interiors from around the globe.

"This appreciation has been a Christmas present for me. Judging by the reactions, this is a great success," architect and the studio's owner Marek Jan Stepan told the daily.

His project, chosen by local residents, profoundly differs from the usual shape of churches in southeast Moravia's countryside.

It is a windowless rotunda, a shape derived from the Romanesque architecture of the late first millennium AD.

"A circle corresponds to the present time and liturgy. I think the Romanesque period and the present time have something in common in terms of religiousness and the internal relation to God. A sacral building must address something that is beyond the material reality, which is why I sought [a solution] in my subconsciousness," Pravo quotes Stepan as saying.

To describe the building, he uses words such as lightness, etherealization, abstraction, clarity and naturalness.

He said he wanted the church to look like made of paper rather than bricks.

Inside, the church is not illuminated through usual windows but through kerfs in the cylinder-shaped wall of a thickness varying from 50 to a few centimetres.

The interior is simple in order to bring the feeling of silence and peace to the visitors.

In the past, church interiors were filled with pictures and statues to acquaint illiterate visitors with the lives of Christ and the saints. At present, people are flooded with information. In a church, they should perceive only the purity of space and the peace, and concentrate on their inner own, Stepan said.

He said the Azure appreciation was a surprise to him because the prestigious lists are completed by experts without architects sending any applications.

After the church's recent opening, European and world media started printing photos of it. The projects seems to have something that addresses the present man, Stepan said.

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