Churches have always been some of the structures in the world that show stunning beauty. During the 16th century, these churches became baroque citadels that were so beautiful, they could evoke loyalty and emotion.

Europe mainly takes the spotlight when it comes to building churches with jaw-dropping designs. The iconic Notre Dame in Paris, the magnificent La Sagrada Familia in Spain, and the colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Europe is home to several of these masterpieces as it was once the seat of Christianity. As Christianity grew, this type of architecture also reared its head in other countries. The Philippines has its own share of beautiful basilicas and cathedrals but the beauty of church architecture is evident even in the small chapels.

Here are just some examples of these eye-catching chapels from all over the country.

The Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel

In the morning, the aluminum-clad chapel gleams gracefully under the sun. Photo by Jar Concengco.
UK-based Helen Whittaker designed the six stained glass panels which incorporate abstract Marian symbols.

Just recently, the award-winning Japanese architectural firm Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP revealed the newly built Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel in Filinvest, Alabang. A chapel designed to welcome people and celebrate faith, the chapel takes on the elegant shape of a Madonna Lily flower which symbolizes purity, innocence, chastity, and elegance.

Related read: Bridging Architecture with Spirituality: The Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

The Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker

As it was built over 50 years ago, the Church of the Angry Christ should already be considered as a heritage site. Photo by Paulo Alcazaren.
The skylight above lights up the main mural, brightening its striking colors. Photo by Paulo Alcazaren.

It’s actually better known as the Church of the Angry Christ. Located in Victorias Milling Company’s 7,000-hectare site in Negros Occidental, this chapel has a mid-century modern design done by Czech-American architect Anthony Raymond and is a site over 50 years old. Its most eye-catching feature isn’t the enduring structure but the art inside though. A mosaic for the baptistry mural and sculptures depicting Mary and Joseph line the chapel. But the spotlight falls on the main mural by Negrenese artist Alfonso Ossorio. It fills the whole wall behind the altar and depicts God the Father as giant red hands holding up the figure of an outstretched Jesus Christ.

Related read: Behind the Anger: The mid-century modern Church of the Angry Christ

Amara Chapel

The Amara Chapel ventures on building chapels in the contemporary style instead of the usual. Photo by Ed Simon.
Mactan stone makes up the altar up front. Photo by Ed Simon.

If any word is used to describe this chapel, it would be ‘abstract’. Amara Chapel by Buensalido+Architects is in Liloan, Cebu, and presents the concept of connection between God, man, and nature. These three elements show up as upright triangular sections. While the base stands for man’s connection to the earth, the two arms point upward in a joined gesture for reaching to God.

Related read: God, Man, Nature: Amara Chapel by Buensalido+Architects

Cor Jesu

The overall design concept comes from the meaning of its name which translates to “Heart of Jesus”. Photo by Zubu Design Associates.
While its concrete form symbolizes coolness and strength, the bamboo stands for warmth and flexibility. Photo by Zubu Design Associates.

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu has the flowing Cor Jesu as its chapel. It was designed by internationally recognized and multi-awarded furniture and industrial designer, Kenneth Cobonpue. Along with him is the Principal Architect of Zubu Design Associates Buck Sia. A project rich in details, its oratory shelters visitors under an undulating ceiling that flows and rises to the altar’s highest point.

Related read: WAF shortlists Kenneth Cobonpue and Zubu Design Associates’ Cor Jesu in Cebu

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