To the ones that are at least a little bit acquainted with contemporary architecture, Álvaro Siza Vieira does not have to be introduced. This already worldwide acclaimed architect presented this month the first church built in France’s Brittany region in the 21st-century — the church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande.
Portuguese architect used light and white concrete creating an exceptional sacred space that gently blends with the south of Rennes, a residential area with five-story housing blocks.
The church is positioned as a free-standing volume that adapts to the existing plan and the dimensions of the nearby buildings and spaces, extant or planned, in particular the size of the apartment block to the north. The functions are distributed across two levels with a total height of 12 m. The Parish Centre and the church are on the first and second floors respectively, with a smaller basement for the technical and storage areas. The central part of the church has seating for 126 and is adjusted to use for disabled people. The church is built using white reintorced concrete bearer emphasizing the marks of the formwork used in its construction. The interior is paved with marble, the exterior framed in wood with an aluminium finish on the outer face, altogether creating soothing, pure, sophisticated space to contemplate.