Chapel Salgenreute by Bernardo Bader

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Places of worship around the world range from massive, ornate cathedrals to barely recognisable outdoor shrines. Different faiths assign various degrees of meaning to the material and ritualistic aspects of worship. Chapel Salgenreute, by Bernardo Bader architects, is a testament to the power of minimalism and restraint. Bernardo Bader and his team have a special mastery when it comes to designing buildings that are minimal in form and the number of materials used, yet remain welcoming, warm, and very human.

Chapel Salgenreute is another manifestation of Bernardo Bader’s talents. Located next to Krumbacher moor, the humble structure replaces an old chapel that has to be knocked down. The new building’ design echoes that of its precedent. It retains a similar apse, but adopts a new layout — standing in white-washed apse, one looks out upon green shrubbery, the brilliant green of nature brought in focus by a gentle geometric frame. A pointed roof rises at dramatically steep angles, sweeping towards the heavens. The chapel is built on a stone foundation, and is wooden inside and out. The exterior is designed to become weathered over time, mirroring the traditional farm houses in the area. Inside, a pale wood creates an atmosphere of calm. Matching pews, utilitarian in form, stand in modest procession. Though the Chapel Salgenreute is cozy in area, it can also open out to the great ope space beyond via its huge metal doors. In this way, it can welcome great numbers for festivals and celebrations, if need be. Find more images of the project here, and browse the architects’ website for more work of breathtaking elegance.

Photography is by Adolf Bereuter.