Steyn Studio, UK architects, designed the architecture plan for Bosjes Chapel, set within a vineyard in South Africa, in the charming Witzenberg district. The surface of the cast-concrete roof rises and falls to create a sinuous outline around all four facades.
Its serene sculptural form emulates the silhouette of surrounding mountain ranges, paying tribute to the historic Cape Dutch gables dotting the rural landscapes of the Western Cape. Constructed from a slim concrete cast shell, the roof supports itself as each undulation dramatically falls to meet the ground.
Drawing poetic inspiration, the crisp white form is conceived as a lightweight, and dynamic structure which appears to float within the valley. Elevated upon a plinth, the chapel rises from the flat land it sits upon, providing a hierarchical focal point within its surroundings.
Inside, a large and open assembly space is created within a simple rectangular plan. The undulating whitewashed ceiling casts an array of shadows which dance within the volume as light levels change throughout the day. This modest palette of materials creates a neutral background to the impressive framed views of the vineyard and mountains beyond.
In order to keep the structural form of the roof and assembly space pure, other elements of the buildings functional programmer is either hidden or discretely within the outer corners of the surrounding garden.
Inspired by the simplicity of the Moravian Mission Stations established on Cape Dutch farms in the 19th Century, the chapel lacks a spire – relinquishing a sense of significance in relation to its impressive natural surroundings.
An open embrace which invites in, the chapel is also a space that extends outwards into the valley and mountains beyond, raising the awareness of God’s creation in the immediate environment.