21 Oct 2020 • Institutions
Why Atelier Štěpán thinks minimalism is key to the modern church space
To give church-goers a meaningful spatial experience in today’s overstimulated world, the practice exercised the power of simplicity for a Catholic institution in the Czech town of Brno.
The forward-looking ideas for the Church of Beatified Restituta were 30 years in the making. Principal architect Marek Jan Štěpán of Atelier Štěpán completed the religious institution, which comprises a contemporary church, tower and spiritual centre designed by Zdeněk Bureš, for a local Roman Catholic parish. Štěpán’s vision interprets the spatial needs of modern church-goers. ‘We live in a world full of easily accessible information, of visual and other sensations attacking us on every front,’ the architect explains. ‘So the church should serve as a space for contemplation, a space stripped of superfluous [elements].’ The church itself has a circular floor plan that references the phenomenon of liturgy, with an 80-m-long colourful annular window a nod to customary stained glass. Together, the architectural concrete components make a minimalistic geometric composition, the centre being rectangular and 31-m-high tower triangular; Štěpán designed the church as a circle as it is an ancient symbol of heaven and eternity.