A21 Studio's Rainbow Chapel just won the 2014 World Architecture Festival's Building of the Year award. Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the award-winning community center was built from recycled materials and colorful sheets of fabric. The Vietnamese architecture firm was commended for their eco-friendly approach that, in the words of the WAF Program Director Paul Finch, "created maximum effect with minimal materials."
Built to serve an urban ward with a lack of communal space, the 1,500-square-foot Chapel accommodates a variety of community activities, such as weddings and conferences, inside a simple, shed-like structure. To keep costs low, A21 Studio constructed the Chapel from a steel frame and metal sheets recycled from the property owner’s previous projects. The architects painted the metal exterior white and added large rainbow-colored fabric curtains to make the building stand out from its forested surroundings.
White paint also covers the walls and ceilings of the interior, however, the architects added wooden flooring and furnishings to give the Chapel a rustic feel. A white tree-shaped steel column supports the weight of the roof and further softens the Chapel’s appearance. The colorful translucent curtains suspended over the entrance and backyard filter in natural light and evoke imagery of stained glass.
Images via A21 Studio