The chapel, situated on an estate in the Breede River Valley, has a serene sculptural form that emulates the silhouette of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The iconic Bosjes Kapel set within the Bosjes Estate and located in the Western Cape’s Breede River Valley has been acknowledged by the 2019 edition of Architizer’s premier A+Awards program, the world’s largest initiative of its kind for architecture and building products.
Designed by South African-born Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studio, the Bosjes Kapel is the winner of the 2019 Architizer A+ Popular Choice within the Religious Buildings & Memorials category, which was announced on July 9th. It has also been named one of this year’s only five Special Honorees, which include renowned international practices Heatherwick Studio and Mecanoo.
The title of Special Honoree is awarded to key influencers and projects, chosen for their extraordinary contribution to the field of architecture. The award highlights projects that champion architecture’s potential to positively impact everyday life.
The Architizer A+Awards promotes and celebrates the year’s best architecture and products. Co-hosted by the Wall Street Journal, its mission is to nurture the appreciation of meaningful design in the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life.
Inspired by the scriptures of Psalm 36:7, the chapel has a serene sculptural form that emulates the silhouette of the surrounding Slanghoek and Waaihoek mountain ranges, paying tribute to the Cape Dutch gables found in the rural landscapes of the Western Cape.
Constructed from a slim concrete cast shell, the roof supports itself as each undulation dramatically falls to meet the ground. Surrounded by meditative gardens, the glass-walled chapel’s flowing white roof appears to float serenely in a reflection pond.
Inside, highly polished terrazzo reflects light internally. The undulating whitewashed ceiling casts an array of shadows which dance within the volume as light levels change throughout the day. The modest palette of materials creates a neutral background to the impressive framed views of the vineyards and mountain beyond.
Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studio based in London, comments: “From my very first meeting with the client I knew something truly special was going to happen, and it did. It is a great honour to be included amongst some of the world’s best architecture; and, being routed in the platteland myself, also very humbling, especially because of the support and recognition the Bosjes Kapel has received.”
Carlen Vorster of Bosjes notes the connection between the chapel’s intriguing physical structure and the space within. “The chapel’s totality speaks of tranquillity, peace and quiet – a meditative space no matter your spiritual affiliation. The gardens, like the chapel, and the rest of the farm welcome all.”