Chapel on Water is the future landmark for the Mennonite Christian Hospital Shoufong Branch. For six decades, the Mennonite Christian Hospital (MCH) has been providing essential medical services to the remote Hualian County on the Taiwanese East coast.
Chapel on Water, when it is complete, will not only be the focal piece of the community but also a significant building in the township.
Conceptionally the design symbolises a ‘Tree of Life’. Trees are used as symbols of life numerous times in Gothic architecture. Late-gothic fan vault ceilings are a reassembly of tree crowns along a boulevard.
Splitting down into smaller branches, roots are situated in the ground, we draw a link to a branch structure on the water.
Chapel on Water sits in the middle of a lake. The building can accommodate 500 people in its main space and has ancillary facilities, such as an event space in a basement, WC’s, storage areas and a banqueting kitchen. The branch structure was developed with the structural engineer and is optimised for performance.
A thick skin lays across a branch structure that was developed alongside the structural engineer and optimised for its performance. Each branch has its use and fulfils its purpose. The thin skin opens to allow views, light and access, both in and out.
The internal space of this chapel features natural, pure materials. A mixture of textures, such as smooth and rough concrete, lightly coloured wood finishes, Corten steel accents will all combine to make this space a peaceful place to rest.
One continuous surface ramping up to a mezzanine level allows step-free movement through the chapel. At the mezzanine level, the external pond can be accessed in small break out spaces.
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