JEJU ISLAND : IN THE HOUSE OF PRAISE

There is always a certain comfort in setting your foot at the dwelling place of the Lord. I always think as a designer that a Church should be designed with adoration and perfection. It is a place of worship and a temple meeting, a ground to which hearts and lives are set to worship One King.

A week before we travelled to Korea, I happened to be researching on Japanese Architects for my lecture in Architectural Aesthetics and stumbled upon Itami Jun. I discovered that he actually designed a lot of iconic places in Jeju and decided to visit them. Unfortunately, due to the lack of research, I only discovered when I got to the Island that the Wind and Water Museums were inside a private Golf club.
  Fortunately for us, and it was just about the perfect timing of God when we chanced upon the Bangju Church on our drive to Bonte Museum. The church is located right before the museum. And one would definitely turn their heads whenever they see this metabolic structure accentuated by a zinc tile roof.
We discovered that Bangju is one of the most iconic spots in Andeokmyeon, Jeju Island. Sitting at a vast greenery is a rectangular structure made out of wood, glass, concrete, and zinc tiles. 
The church was patterned after the story of Noah's ark. The sanctuary sits on a pond, giving its visitors an illusion that they are walking/floating in water. The pond gives another dimension and drama to the structure as it directly mirrors in the building. We actually wanted to go in but there was a service going on and we didn't want to disrupt it so we only got a glimpse of the facade.
Because of the apex of the roof, and the wise use of materials, the sound from the organ being played inside could be heard audibly from the outside without distorion. My husband and I also we able to enjoy and appreciate Christian Hymns being played in the Korean Language.
Here's a tourist giving in to the urge of taking a photo by the entrance of the church Who would not marvel in this peaceful and serene structure?
I love how Itami Jun was able to blend in the elements of nature in this Holy Place. It just simply goes to show that places of worship do not need to always be too extravagant in structure and yet have the people feel like they were as if being brought closer to God through the beauty of its surroundings.

Simple. Unadulterated worship. Raw yet strong faith.

The Bangju Church is indeed one of those religious structures you should definitely see and experience when you visit South Korea.

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