It is often argued that good design is the response to its context. In the case of the Wedding Chapel in Eunos, design studio LLx addressed an industrial context by way of stark counterpoint.
April 26th, 2017
Stepping into the high-ceilinged chapel, the dramatic gesture of the arched procession takes one by surprise. Unlike the rectilinear formal typologies of its industrial neighbourhood, the symmetrical arches stretching across the space dance in mid-air as sinuous, spatial sculptures.
One’s eye is instinctively drawn towards the end of the aisle, where the wedding couple would pronounce their vows. Lead designer at LLx Lennard Ong shares that this was achieved by gently raising the curvature of the arch towards the stage. “We were very interested in playing with the perspective when we walk down the aisle, to make the space feel longer and higher than it actually is,” he notes.
The gradual heightening of volume along the longitudinal section, and the tapering of arches from a wider base to thinner arch profiles overhead produces a sharp sense of perspective. Treading the zone between architecture and theatrical set, LLx’s design of the Wedding Chapel celebrates the processional ritual of matrimony by choreographing the space around it.
The singularity of design approach makes this chapel a visual treat. By distilling the essence of the space into a sequence of carefully calibrated arches while avoiding unnecessary embellishments, the chapel presents a realm of pure experience.
As in any exercise of distillation, precision is needed. Ong relates that two arch profiles were created and alternated to produce a visual sense of rhythm. One profile is a flat-faced arch to catch the glint of light. The other profile is recessed to create shadow and depth. The lighting selected emphasises this rhythm by alternately casting light upwards and downwards, accentuating the curvature of the arches. These arches are made of 1-millimetre-thick mild steel and were welded in-situ and finished in white to achieve an ephemeral sense of lightness. Service ducts such as air-conditioning were concealed above the arch frames.
At the end of the aisle, the stage rises in curved sweeping steps. This creates a photogenic setting for any bride and groom, framed between the curvature of the ceiling and the steps below. “In this project we looked at the effects of form, light and travel – much like how a sculptor would make something,” Ong relates of his studio’s design approach, which in this case was convincingly articulated: to create sculpturally iconic spaces that produce an emotional outcome.
Words by Felicia Toh.
Photography by Fabian Ong (courtesy of LLx) unless otherwise stated.
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