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When thinking of religion in general, modern doesn’t usually come to mind, does it? Just because religion is steeped in tradition doesn’t mean that they can’t be practiced or appreciated in modern structures. In recent years, more and more modern churches, chapels, mosques, cathedrals, and temples are popping up to go along with modern times and here are 10 of our favorites.

10 Modern Religious Buildings

Located in the alpine village of Mogno, Switzerland, the Church of San Giovanni Battista was designed by architect Mario Botta, who created a striking pattern of alternating layers of Peccia marble and Vallemaggia granite.

Photo by Purple Cloud, via Flickr

Photo by Purple Cloud via Flickr

Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light was built in 1989 in a small town just outside of Osaka, Japan and it still remains one of his most remarkable works of architecture. The church beautifully showcases the duality of solid and void, as well as light and dark.

Photo by Bridgit Anderson

Photo by Bridgit Anderson

After an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, Shigeru Ban was asked to design a temporary structure to replace the city’s iconic Christchurch Cathedral that was destroyed. In its place, he designed the clever Cardboard Cathedral that’s built with 98 cardboard tubes and 8 steel shipping containers.

Photo by Charles Roffey via Flickr

Photo by Charles Roffey via Flickr

Designed by architect Hüsrev Tayla and then completed by his student, Zeynep Fadillioğlu, when he left prior to it being finished, the Şakirin Mosque is truly a work of modern art located in Istanbul, Turkey. Intricate metalwork filters light through the windows creating dramatic patterns on the walls and floors.

Photo by 陈颢 Chen Hao

Photo by 陈颢 Chen Hao

The majestic Seashore Chapel was designed by Vector Architects in the coastal town of Beidaihe in China as if it was a boat that had drifted ashore and left on the beach. Its all-white exterior piques the curiosities of beachgoers and invites them to up the wide staircase.

Photo by MingFu Weng

Photo by MingFu Weng

The Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple is the oldest Thai Buddhist Temple in Singapore that’s still visited by the Thai Royal Family. For its 90th anniversary, a new structure featuring triangular windows was designed by Czarl Architects to expand upon its current facilities that they’d outgrown.

Photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

The Kamppi Chapel, designed by K2S Architects, is located on a busy square in the central part of Helsinki, Finland as a quiet place for people to have a moment amongst the chaos of the city. The modest structure features a curved wooden facade that warmly embraces all who visit.

Photo by Bai Jiwen

Photo by Bai Jiwen

ONG&ONG might be well-known for their jaw-dropping houses, but they also designed the Al-Ansar Mosque in Singapore. Its exterior is pretty spectacular with a floating steel box that cantilevers out exhibiting a textured pattern that light passes through.

Photo by Fran Parente

Photo by Fran Parente

On the west side of Mexico City, the San Jose María Escrivá Church has become a landmark in an area that has been transformed over time. The church was designed by Javier Sordo Madaleno Bringas with a unique exterior that carries over into the dramatic interior.

Photo by Duccio Malagamba

Photo by Duccio Malagamba

The Martin Luther Church in Hainburg, Germany is designed like a table, in that the curved roof rests on the legs of the “table”, which happens to be four steel columns. Designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, the church is built with three openings in the ceiling that bring light into the simple interior.



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