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The Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande by Álvaro Siza Vieira

Famed Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira, has designed a modernist church whose poetic, sculptural form folds gently into the surrounding neighborhood in Rennes.

Situated on the outskirts of Rennes, the church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande is the first to have been built in Brittany in the 21st century. The occasion was marked by contracting the project to 84-year-old Pritzker Prize winner, Álvaro Siza Vieira. Siza’s use of light, white concrete provides a unique ceremonial space that blends with the suburban landscape despite its size. Split across two levels, the modernist building offers a series of thoughtfully designed spaces. The lower story, with its white marble walls, houses the parish committee and has sufficient room for community activities. The upper story of the cylindrical volume houses the spacious church hall, able to accommodate up to 120 people. A square panel is suspended above this circular space, allowing a diffused glow to wash over the room via a cleverly structured lighting system.