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Suzhou Chapel

Pedro Pegenaute

Gravity and evanescence in the Shuzou Chapel by Neri&Hu.


Gravity and evanescence are the two opposites that characterize the Shuzou Chapel designed by Neri&Hu and filmed by Pedro Pegenaute.

The chapel is part of a resort and overlooks the shores of Yangcheng Lake, near Shuzou. The stone base is solid and features various textures with marked asperity on the surface; here different wall heights interweave with each other to create a choreographed landscape journey leading into the building itself.

Above the stone mass, the qualities of a clear white box change according to the observer's viewpoint and the light: it is more evident during the day due to its compact volume, and its strength diminishes at night when the darkness reduces it to a glow emerging from the windows.

The interior hall is covered with wooden-plank cladding which is almost continuous from the walls to the ceiling. The bulb lighting system installed in the ceiling fills the hall and mezzanine with warm light.

The mezzanine and a rooftop terrace with views of the lake can be accessed via a twisting staircase that ascends along one side of the main hall. The stairwell is a place for viewing and been observed while remaining inside; at the same time, it affords delightful views of the outside. Seamless integration with the surrounding nature is achieved as the windows frame various man-made and natural landscapes.

The video reveals the space using slow and calm camera movements. Overall views are taken with frontal or glimpse shots, always emphasizing the geometries and volumetric ratio, while close-up shots focus on the details and quality of the materials.

(Story by Paola Ricco, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Neri&Hu
Mentioned project: Suzhou Chapel (2016)
Project location: Suzhou, Cina

China 2016
Duration: 4'02''