High Design Houses of Worship

Today's sacred spaces take an adventurous turn

Written by Laura Regensdorf

Notre Dame, the Parthenon, the Hagia Sophia-the history of architecture is studded with groundbreaking structures erected in the name of religion. Proof that today's sacred buildings are no less innovative and inspiring, a new book catalogs nearly one hundred 21st-century creations. It's a diverse lot, including a tiny Vermont meditation chapel, an imposing steel-clad church in Vienna, and a portable Finnish sanctuary shaped like a triangle. And inside a baroque Czech Republic church, there are even Verner Panton chairs, customized with crosses and reimagined as pews. Here's a look inside.







See: 6 Chic Gray Rooms

Credit: By Baladrón & Grass from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010Credit: By Baladrón & Grass from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010Junquillos Chapel: Junquillos, Biobío, Chile

Design: Baladrón & Grass















Dining With a View: The Best Rooftop Restaurants

Credit: By Vesa Oiva from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010Credit: By Vesa Oiva from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010

Lilja Chapel of Silence: Portable chapel, Finland

Design: Vesa Oiva






















Inspiring Historical Houses

Credit: By Merkx + Girod from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010Credit: By Merkx + Girod from Closer to God, Copyright Gestalten 2010

Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore: Maastricht, Netherlands

Design: Merkx + Girod





















A Chocoholic's Paradise


See more sacred spaces back at ELLE DECOR or pick up the book: Closer to God: Religious Architecture and Sacred Spaces, edited by Robert Klanten and Lukas Feireiss, Gestalten, $69; amazon.com.

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