"Reading Between the Lines", Transparent Church in Belgium


This is a church in Limburg, Belgium, completed by the Belgian designer Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. They constructed a transparent, see-through church in the Belgian region of Haspengouw. The  structure is made of 100 stacked layers and 2000 columns of steel plates.As this 10 meters high church with a special architectural structure, whether people in the building or outside the building can be seen through walls, for whom it’s a fantastic feeling.




“Transparency” has such a vague meaning, especially in a world where the word is used within governments, businesses, and even religions. The plates are positioned in a way that creates a beautiful view of the landscape from the surrounding countryside which is redefined by the abstract lines of the church’s architecture. When viewers are inside, they can see an intricate play of light and shadow. During different times of the day, depending on the position of the sun and direction of light, the church‘s interior changes, creating a feeling of supremacy and spirituality.


The church design changes an ideal view of a traditional church structure into a transparent object of art. The application of steel over other materials metaphorically expresses the bold relationship of church and religion in the Netherlands. With the number of churchgoers decreasing, architects in cooperation with Z33 named this project “Reading Between the Lines” to translate a meaning of transparency from the realm of information to the realm of the observable.





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