atelier štepán has topped the circular ‘church of beatified restitute’ in the czech republic with a panoramic rainbow window that illuminates its concrete interior with colorful hues. located in the heart of the brno – lesná housing estate, designed by czech architects františek zounek and viktor rudiš in the 1960s, the project comprises three basic masses: the church, the tower, and an existing spiritual center, designed by zdeněk bureš. the existing center has a rectangular form, the tower is triangular, and the church is circular, resulting in an easily legible complex of three basic geometric shapes that stands out amid the tall concrete apartment buildings that surround it.
all images by boysplaysnice, drawings courtesy of atelier štepán
chosen among 36 proposals, the church by atelier štepán comprises a circular design topped with a panoramic rainbow window of 120 colorful glass pieces. a symbol of heaven and eternity, the circle was chosen as a shape that represents fullness, while it marks a spiritual focal point where people can take a break from the rush of everyday life. inside, a triangular opening on the chruch wall references the tearing of the jerusalem temple curtain.
designed to make one feel ‘like in a womb’, the simple, harmonious interior of the church features soft and austere curves that create an abstract space shaped by light. ‘the goal is indirect and soft daylight that does not create contrasting shadows,’ notes atelier štepán. located in the dome of the church, the 80-meter-long panoramic window illuminates the interior with colorful hues, though the light source is hidden to create a sense of the unknown within the space.