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JA Curve Church, Jeju Island, South Korea

Thursday 03 Apr 2014

Volcanic island gains new church

Photographs: Choi Hyuk-jae 
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ZIP Partners Architecture completes JA Curve Church in citrus groves of Jeju Island 

JA Curve Church is located in Jeju Island, arguably one of the most beautiful islands in South Korea. The site is on the outskirts of Jeju Island and is surrounded by dense pine groves along with citrus groves. The scenic elements of the site and convenient transport connections provided a prime location for the church. The concept, devised by ZIP Partners Architecture, was to introduce an 'ingenious architecture' that would settle harmoniously with the surrounding nature. 

The 1,800 sq m church has been designed with a simple form to accommodate various religious programs. The first floor consists of an office space, kitchen facility and a conference room for group gatherings. The outdoor stairs lead to a miniature garden then into a lobby and the main chapel, which are all located on the second floor. Furthermore, it was inherent for religious sanctuaries to be applied with an austere form.

A change in scale can be experienced by transitioning from the outside at ground level (lowest) to 'God’s space' (highest), as the ceiling height of the lobby gradually increases from 2.4m to 9.5m. Also, the delicacy in the continuous ceiling material contributes to a comfortable prayer space. As the curved ceiling reaches the highest peak, the natural light shines into the worshiping space while the curvature reaches into the sky.

Jeju Island is a volcanic island where the land chiefly consists of basalt and lava. The lifestyle and the perspective of the people have been shaped in relation to basalt. Therefore, basalt has been used for the foundation and the flooring material of the sanctuary. The application of white colour on the exterior façade accentuates its curved form from the surrounding natural environment. Simple curvature has been emphasized with its white hue.

The curved façade reveals the metaphor of the nature of Jeju Island. The smooth curves on the mountains in Jeju are derived from the volcanic activities. The simple man-made curved form resembles the small mountains - Oreum - which can be found throughout the island. 


Client: JungAng Church
Architect: ZIP Partners Architecture
Structural consultant: G-One Structural ENG
Mechanical consultant: De-Tech Engineering

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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ZIP Partners Architecture

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