Beijing studio Vector Architects has built a concrete chapel on a Chinese beach, but raised it up above the sands so that seawater can wash underneath (+ slideshow).
Named Seashore Chapel, the sculptural building provides a small place of worship for Beidaihe, a seaside town east of Beijing.
It is the closest building to the sea anywhere in the town, as Vector Architects wanted to create a more spiritual experience for visitors.
But this proximity to the shoreline meant it had to be raised up on concrete columns.
When the tide is out it is possible to take shelter underneath the structure.
If the tide became too high the building would become completely separated from land, although the architects claim this is unlikely to happen because the sea level in Bohai Bay is “fairly stable”.
“We imagine the Seashore Chapel as an old boat drifting on the ocean a long time ago,” said Vector Architects.
“The ocean receded through time and left an empty structure behind, which is still lying on the beach.”
“When the tide rises, this space will be submerged by water. At that moment, the imagery of the drifting boat emerges out of the chapel,” added the team.
The building features a steeply pitched roof, concealed stained-glass windows and a generous balcony facing the ocean.