Stunning See-through Church Is Made From Stacked Weathered Steel
Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh of the Gijs Van Vaerenbergh studio designed the thought-provoking project, called ’Reading Between the Lines,’ for Art Museum Z33’s Z-OUT ‘art in the public space’ program. The 10-meter-tall church was built from 100 layers of stacked weathered steel and 2,000 columns of metal.
Erected in 2011, the ‘Reading Between the Lines’ installation is made of 30 tons of weathered steel and is built on a foundation of armed concrete. The horizontally stacked and staggered metal plates create gaps that let visitors see through the walls and into the landscape. Depending on the viewpoint, the giant artwork either takes on the form of a church or appears to dissolve into the landscape.
“The design of the church is based on the architecture of the multitude of churches in the region, but through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art,” write the designers. ‘Reading Behind the Lines’ was also created to bring awareness to the increasing number of abandoned churches in the Haspengouw region and the debate over how to handle the historic, but empty buildings.