The Bosjes Chapel has won the Popular Choice Award in the 2019 International Architizer A+ Awards’ Cultural: Religious category.

The chapel, set within a vineyard in South Africa, is designed by South African-born Coetzee Steyn of London-based Steyn Studio. Its serene sculptural form emulates the silhouette of surrounding mountain ranges, paying tribute to the historic Cape Dutch gables dotting the rural landscapes of the Western Cape.

Constructed from a slim concrete cast shell, the roof supports itself as each undulation dramatically falls to meet the ground. Where each wave of the roof structure rises to a peak, expanses of glazing adjoined centrally by a crucifix adorn the façade.

Inside, a large and open assembly space is created within a simple rectangular plan. Highly polished terazzo floors reflect light internally.

To keep the structural form of the roof and assembly space pure, other elements of the building’s functional programme are either hidden within the plinth, or discretely within the outer corners of the surrounding garden.

Inspired by the simplicity of the Moravian Mission Stations established on Cape Dutch farms in the 19th Century, the chapel lacks a spire – relinquishing a sense of significance in relation to its impressive natural surroundings. 

An open embrace which invites people in, the chapel is also a space that extends outwards into the valley and mountains beyond, raising the awareness of God’s creation in the immediate environment.