RELIGION
12/13/2016 03:50 pm ET

28 Sacred Spaces That Capture The Stunning Beauty Of Religious Architecture

These are the winners of the 2016 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes a space feel sacred. But walk through the hallowed passages of a majestic temple or kneel at the foot of an ancient tomb, and you may feel the sacred to be an almost palpable force. 

For the past 38 years, Faith & Form magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture have hosted an annual awards program for architects and artists around the world who evoke this sacred feel in works of religious architecture and design.

For artists and architects, the task of evoking the divine through structures and shapes is a difficult one, said Michael J. Crosbie, editor-in-chief of Faith & Form.

“They have to provide space for a liturgical action, the collection of a congregation in a place to worship, and for people to be in communion through the expression of faith,” Crosbie told The Huffington Post.

On top of that, religious architecture typically reflects the traditions and forms of a particular faith and distinguishes itself in some way from the other buildings that surround it, he noted.

“The architecture of the sacred must transcend the everyday, in some way,” Crosbie said. “It must take us out of ourselves, make us part of something greater, must refresh the congregation in its belief and in its faith, and connect us to each other, and to something beyond all of us.”

Evoking this sense of transcendence is the architect’s “greatest challenge,” he added. “There isn’t a formula or a set of rules to follow about how it can be achieved.”

This year’s winners for the International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture capture the sacred in diverse ways. A panel of five independent judges ― comprised of architects, artists and religious leaders ― selected the winners, which feature a mixture art, architecture, unbuilt projects and student work. They are all either new projects or renovations of existing works, and roughly half were designed or created for sites outside of North America.

The award winners receive recognition of their work in the Faith & Form magazine and will also be honored at an awards presentation ceremony in May at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, Crosbie said.

View the 28 winners of the 2016 Faith & Form/IFRAA Religious Art and Architecture Award below:

  • Jumaa Mosque
    John McAslan + Partners; Jumaa Mosque; Doha, Qatar; New Facilies; Photo: Hufton + Crow
    Hufton Crow
    John McAslan + Partners; Jumaa Mosque; Doha, Qatar; New Facilies; Photo: Hufton + Crow
  • Chapel of St. Ignatius
    John Ronan Architects; Chapel of St. Ignatius; Chicago, Illinois; New Facilities; Photo: Nathan Kirkman
    Nathan Kirkman
    John Ronan Architects; Chapel of St. Ignatius; Chicago, Illinois; New Facilities; Photo: Nathan Kirkman
  • St. Patricks Cathedral
    Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects; St. Patrick’s Cathedral; New York, New York; Restoration
    Whitney Cox
    Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects; St. Patrick’s Cathedral; New York, New York; Restoration
  • Palm Beach Synagogue
    Arthur Chabon Architect; Palm Beach Synagogue; Palm Beach, Florida; Liturgical/Interior Design
    Kim Sargent
    Arthur Chabon Architect; Palm Beach Synagogue; Palm Beach, Florida; Liturgical/Interior Design
  • Mary As Prophet
    Margaret Adams Parker; “Mary As Prophet”; Virginia Theological Seminary; Alexandria, Virginia; Visual Arts
    B Cayce Ramey
    Margaret Adams Parker; “Mary As Prophet”; Virginia Theological Seminary; Alexandria, Virginia; Visual Arts
  • Mysteries of the Rosary
    Scott Parsons; “Mysteries of the Rosary”; Our Lady of Loreto » Foxfield, Colorado; Visual Arts
    Steve Maylone
    Scott Parsons; “Mysteries of the Rosary”; Our Lady of Loreto » Foxfield, Colorado; Visual Arts
  • Cathedral of St. Thomas
    Ranjit John Korah; Cathedral of St. Thomas; Cochin, Kerala, India; Student Work
    Courtesy of Faith Form
    Ranjit John Korah; Cathedral of St. Thomas; Cochin, Kerala, India; Student Work
  • Chapel of the Good Shepherd
    Robert Dolinar; Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Alojzij Šuštar Primary School; Ljubljana, Slovenia; New Facilities
    Luka Markez
    Robert Dolinar; Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Alojzij Šuštar Primary School; Ljubljana, Slovenia; New Facilities; Photo: Luca Markez
  • Totihue Chapel
    Gonzalo Mardones Arquitectos; Totihue Chapel; Totihue, Chile; New Facilities; Photo: Nico Saieh
    Nico Saieh
    Gonzalo Mardones Arquitectos; Totihue Chapel; Totihue, Chile; New Facilities; Photo: Nico Saieh
  • Al Warqa’a Mosque
    ibda design; Al Warqa’a Mosque; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; New Facilities; Photo: Sadao Hotta
    Sadao Hotta
    ibda design; Al Warqa’a Mosque; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; New Facilities; Photo: Sadao Hotta
  • Chinmaya Mission Austin
    Miró Rivera Architects; Chinmaya Mission Austin; Austin, Texas; New Facilities; Photo: Paul Finkel / Piston Design
    Paul Finkel/Piston Design
    Miró Rivera Architects; Chinmaya Mission Austin; Austin, Texas; New Facilities; Photo: Paul Finkel / Piston Design
  • The Joyful Church
    The Beck Group; The Joyful Church; Pohang, South Korea; New Facilities; Photo: Seunghoon Yum
    Seunghoon Yum
    The Beck Group; The Joyful Church; Pohang, South Korea; New Facilities; Photo: Seunghoon Yum
  • St. Francis Chapel
    Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects; St. Francis Chapel; Breckenridge, Texas; New Facilities; Photo: Nicholas McWhirter
    Nicholas McWhirter
    Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects; St. Francis Chapel; Breckenridge, Texas; New Facilities; Photo: Nicholas McWhirter
  • Temple Israel of Hollywood
    Koning Eizenberg Architecture. Temple Israel of Hollywood; Los Angeles, California; Adaptive Reuse/Repurpose; Photo: Eric Sta
    Eric Staudenmaier
    Koning Eizenberg Architecture. Temple Israel of Hollywood; Los Angeles, California; Adaptive Reuse/Repurpose; Photo: Eric Staudenmaier
  • Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue
    FXFOWLE; Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue; New York, New York; Restoration
    Chris Cooper
    FXFOWLE; Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue; New York, New York; Restoration
  • St. Cecilia Church
    Donham & Sweeney Architects; St. Cecilia Church; Boston, Massachusetts; Renovation
    Bruce T Martin Photography
    Donham & Sweeney Architects; St. Cecilia Church; Boston, Massachusetts; Renovation
  • Knock Shrine Basilica
    Wejchert Architects; Knock Basilica Interior Design; Knock, County Mayo, Ireland; Liturgical/Interior Design
    Peter Moloney
    Wejchert Architects; Knock Basilica Interior Design; Knock, County Mayo, Ireland; Liturgical/Interior Design
  • Temple Adath
    Atkin Olshin Schade Architects; Temple Adath Israel; Merion Station, Pennsylvania; Liturgical/Interior Design
    Tom Crane
    Atkin Olshin Schade Architects; Temple Adath Israel; Merion Station, Pennsylvania; Liturgical/Interior Design
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral of Kericho
    John McAslan + Partners; Sacred Heart Cathedral of Kericho; Kericho, Kenya; Liturgical/Interior Design
    Edmund Sumner
    John McAslan + Partners; Sacred Heart Cathedral of Kericho; Kericho, Kenya; Liturgical/Interior Design
  • 8-Shaped Passage
    Shoji Oshio + UA architects; 8-Shaped Passage; Ueno, Tokyo, Japan; Sacred Landscape
    Masaru Niimi
    Shoji Oshio + UA architects; 8-Shaped Passage; Ueno, Tokyo, Japan; Sacred Landscape
  • St. Thomas More Font
    Dekker / Perich / Sabatini; Baptismal Font; St. Thomas More Catholic Church; Oceanside, California; Liturgical Furnishings
    RMA Photography
    Dekker / Perich / Sabatini; Baptismal Font; St. Thomas More Catholic Church; Oceanside, California; Liturgical Furnishings
  • Pipe Organ
    Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd.; Pipe Organ; St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church; Carmel Valley, California; Liturgical Fur
    Sherman Chu
    Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd.; Pipe Organ; St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church; Carmel Valley, California; Liturgical Furnishings
  • Torah Ark
    Studio Bondy Architecture; Torah Ark, Bema, and Screen; Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School; Palo Alto, California; Liturgical F
    Ken Gutmaker
    Studio Bondy Architecture; Torah Ark, Bema, and Screen; Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School; Palo Alto, California; Liturgical Furnishings
  • Basilica de N.Senora de la Merced Façade Rehab
    Eleftherios Piskitzis, Architect; Basilica de N.Senora de la Merced Façade Rehab; Madrid, Spain; Unbuilt Work
    Courtesy of Faith Form
    Eleftherios Piskitzis, Architect; Basilica de N.Senora de la Merced Façade Rehab; Madrid, Spain; Unbuilt Work
  • City of Spirits
    Rafaela Paes; “City of Spirits”; Recife, Brazil; Student Work
    Courtesy of Faith Form
    Rafaela Paes; “City of Spirits”; Recife, Brazil; Student Work
  • Pop-Up Places of Worship
    Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee; “Pop-Up Places of Worship”; Various Locations; Student Work
    Courtesy of Faith Form
    Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee; “Pop-Up Places of Worship”; Various Locations; Student Work
  • The Chapel of St. Adalbert
    Filip Strzelecki; “The Chapel of St. Adalbert”; Fiszewo, Poland; Student Work
    Courtesy of Faith Form
    Filip Strzelecki; “The Chapel of St. Adalbert”; Fiszewo, Poland; Student Work
  • The Procession of the Souls
    Travis Price Architects with The Catholic University of America; “The Procession of the Souls”; Swinford, County
    Travis Price
    Travis Price Architects with The Catholic University of America; “The Procession of the Souls”; Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland; Student Work 
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