18. May 2017

Perceiving light with all your senses: “Rainbow Church”.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Nacása & Partners Inc.

The project bears the simple sounding name of “Rainbow Church”, which admittedly reiterates the impression you get when viewing the space. But it is actually far more than that. It incorporates a design that succeeds in visualising the link between a higher spiritual being and light in a minimalist but impressive way, achieved in the form of a lighting installation – architecturally and surprising simple, but all the more tremendous in its effect and how it is perceived by the onlooker.

The “Rainbow Church” was designed by Tokujin Yoshioka – going beyond a design concept developed for application in any sacred building, and inspired by Henri Matisse’s remarkable Rosaire Chapel in Vence – comprises a huge stained glass window made of 500 crystal prisms. Natural light penetrating the building and is refracted into all the colours of the rainbow. The light, white interior is filled with an enchanting, magical atmosphere. And it is exactly this play of effects that generates the spiritual quality of the light in this project. Light sparks the imagination, makes us feel strong and healthy, happy and positive towards our lives, reveals our spiritual nature, render earthly dangers visible and shows us the way. In this light, the people visiting or worshipping in the space feel nearer to understanding the whys and wherefores, protected and safe. The refracted rays of sunlight give rise to an array of colours that have a hypnotic, magical edge to them. And because of the effect the space has on the visitor through the lighting effects generated there the “Rainbow Church”, plain and simple though it may be is in fact – similar to its role model in Vence – a highly successful and impressive light experience.

Design: Tokujin Yoshioka



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