Parallel Church

Site: Rangsit, Thailand

Status: Conceptual Design

Program: Religious

Client: Evangelical Lutheran Church Denomination

The Parallel Church attempts to articulate the spatial configuration of a sacred space (Mircea Eliade's definition: space between earth and heaven). Rosalind Krauss's and Yves-Alain Bois's "A User's Guide to Entropy" operated as the model for the investigation in the project. The idea of entropy challenges the existing notion of the value of materiality, the transformation of scale, the informing of existing inactive structures become the forms in question. 


Utilizing the vertical sections, the church transforms by the space between two visually permeable surfaces. The interstitial space continues into the sequence of the entry corridor, a catacomb chamber, integrating the landscape with the building. The vertical corridor walls fold into and through the horizontal slabs of the upper sermon floors, allowing a continuous material pulsation throughout the space. The construction of the entry corridor defines the sacred space, a bridge between earth and heaven, a place where the viewer's visual logic and body cannot occupy. The beholder experiences a structural blindness (Rosalind Krauss's definition of Robert Smithson's work: Enantiomorphic Chamber), a space of ricocheting light, a cross firing of reflections, and unsynthesizable vanishing points in the entry corridor. 


The programs distribute on both sides of the entry corridor allocating an accumulation of densities to frame the lightness of the internal space. The interaction between the public and private spaces facilitates a social flow to the building. The minister's house and the church integrate through the interfacing surfaces that weave distinctive programmatic elements. The ground level contains the submerged subsidiary church programs, under lit to produce an effect of illuminating buoyancy.