HomeDo You Know?What is the theme behind the design of this church?

What is the theme behind the design of this church?

Saemoonan Church in South Korea, designed by Seoinn Design Group and Eunseok Lee, is known for its history as well its unconventional design. The Saemoonan Church was founded in September 1887 and over the years, it has gone through 6 different chapels, constructing the latest chapel from 2014 to 2019. Do you know the theme behind the design of this chapel?

Shedding the decorations of the spire and the gothic image, which have dominated the archetype of Christian church construction for two thousand years, seems to be the main value contemporary church construction has faced. Therefore, in the construction of Saemoonan Church, the conventional spire was replaced by a soft curved effect that is open to the sky, and the excessive ornaments were converted into simple and abstract expressions.

The architects had four distinct church construction themes as basic guidelines; 1. the historicity as the mother church of Korean protestant churches, 2. the symbolism of doors open to heaven 3. the spatiality of expressing Christ as light and 4. presenting a water space that represents baptism and harmony. “Hence, we adapted the themes of Loving God and Loving Neighbours and included them in the design,” says the architect. Loving God was mainly portrayed through the use and symbolism of the space, and the aspects of Loving Neighbors were expressed through the public view of the building in the form of its external appearance and the layout effect of the building revealed in the city centre.

According to the architects, the love and mercy of God were metaphorically expressed with the curve of the soft front in the design. Furthermore, a new periodic worship space was proposed with a fan-shaped chapel plane that encourages the dynamic participation between believers. “This is how a contemporary church expresses their love of neighbors to the city through publicness,” says the architects.

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