architecture

From Doha to Seoul, explore some of the world's most magnificent new places to pray

Updated 3rd November 2015
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From Doha to Seoul, explore some of the world's most magnificent new places to pray
Written by Stephy Chung, CNN
In the run up to this year's 8th annual World Architecture Festival in Singapore, we preview buildings shortlisted in some of the more unusual categories.
Cathedrals and temples were the skyscrapers of their day. Crafted by leading designers and intended to evoke powerful feelings of wonder and awe, religious buildings were the architectural focal points of traditional city planning.
But how has the story changed for newly built places of worship? This week, a selection of the most imaginative religious spaces completed within the last 3 years will be showcased at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.
The festival -- the world's largest international architectural event of its type -- features 2,200 architects from 60 countries and honors designs in 31 differing categories, including sport, the use of color in buildings, future concepts, sport and religion.
"The quality of architecture is invariably high in the religion category, which I think is because communities and religious organizations are often commissioning these projects," opines Paul Finch, World Architecture Festival program director.
"Because of this, the buildings are in a sense, above functionality," Finch continues. "The brief is usually looking for something that engages with the spirit, has elements of beauty and calm and reflection, and that's a wonderful thing for architects to respond to. It's hard to tell if they themselves are or aren't religious."
This year, nine buildings from around the world have been shortlisted in the religion category. The buildings, all modest in scale, examine themes of modernity and nature.
From a church whose acoustics are meant to have the likeness of "singing in a violin," to a chapel that literally and metaphorically unites a bride and groom in marriage, the buildings featured in the gallery above, challenge design notions of sacred spaces.