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Closer to God

It almost makes too much sense that some of the most awe-inspiring architecture around the world today just so happens to be religious spaces. Whether that means a church, a synagogue or meditation center, the structures in Gestalten’s latest release, Closer to God, are anything but traditional. Gone are the high, vaulted ceilings and ornately embellished altars and alcoves that staunch Roman Catholics hold so dear. These spaces are clean and modern, with hardly a stained-glass window in sight.

Aside from covering almost 100 different sacred spaces across the globe, Closer to God also profiles a few churches that have been completely repurposed, like the Ilhara Public Library in Portugal or the Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore (above) in the Netherlands. The Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church in Paris even participated in the city’s 2007 Nuit Blanche, hosting a light installation before the altar. Most of these spaces reside outside the US, though a few home-town heroes made the book, like Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Downtown LA and the Holy Rosary Complex in Louisiana. The range of styles is as diverse as the world’s various religious practices, from the quaint Church in Tarnov, Poland to the glowing rectangular White Temple in Kyoto, to the stunning, stark, desert oasis that is the Chapel of Retiro in Chile.

The Holy Rosary Church Complex in Louisiana

The Church in Tarnov, Poland

The White Temple in Kyoto

Chapel de Retiro, Chile