10 prayer centres whose spaces transport you to another level

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John Pawson was born in 1949 in Halifax, Yorkshire. After a period in the family textile business he left for Japan, spending several years teaching English at the business university of Nagoya. Towards the end of his time there he moved to Tokyo, where he visited the studio of Japanese architect and designer Shiro Kuramata. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own practice in 1981.

From the outset the work focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials, rather than on developing a set of stylistic mannerisms - themes he also explored in his book Minimum, first published in 1996, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design across a variety of historical and cultural contexts.

Early commissions included homes for the writer Bruce Chatwin, opera director Pierre Audi, contemporary art dealer Hester van Royen and collector Doris Lockhart Saatchi, together with art galleries in London, Dublin and New York. Subsequent projects have spanned a wide range of scales and building typologies, from Calvin Klein's flagship store in Manhattan and airport lounges for Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong to the new Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in Bohemia.

In May 2006, two decades of visits to the twelfth century Cistercian monastery of Le Thoronet culminated in an exhibition, 'John Pawson: Leçons du Thoronet', the first such intervention ever to be held within the precincts of the abbey. Two weeks after the exhibition opening in Provence,  celebrations in London marked the completion of the Sackler Crossing - a walkway over the lake at Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens. The same year also marked the practice's first stage design, with a set for a new ballet choreographed by Wayne McGregor for the Royal Ballet which premiered at London's Royal Opera House in November 2006.

Helena Lucas Vieira, Pedro Miguel Ferreira. Plano Humano Arquitectos

Plano Humano Arquitectos is a studio founded by Helena Lucas Vieira (Lisbon - Portugal, 1981) and Pedro Miguel Ferreira (Lisbon - Portugal, 1981). Collaborating in the study are Vanessa Ferrão (Lisbon - Portugal, 1986) and João Martins (Lisbon - Portugal, 1991).

Former collaborators.- 2008 Rita Trigo. (External Collaborator) // 2009-2010 Inês Correia. (External Collaborator) // 2012 David Raquel. (External Collaborator) // 2012 Margarida Marques. (Collaborator) External) // 2013-2015 Manuel Dinis, Arq. // 2013, Helena Botelho. // 2013, Yara Catila. // 2014-2015, Nuno Roque. Estagiário // 2014-2017, Ana Figueiredo.

Bernardo Bader architekten

Bernardo Bader architekten, is an architect from Krumbach (1974), the Austrian region of Bregenzerwald, with the office currently based in Dornbirn, Austria. He studied architecture at the Innsbruck Technical University. After receiving his Diploma Engineer degree in 2001 he founded his own architectural office.

His work investigates how architecture can be embedded in regional building culture and based on local architectural grammar. His projects bear witness to brilliance of handcraft, deep care of tectonic detail and sensitivity to the local context. Bader is Member of Advisory Design Commissions as well as the Advisory Committee for Urban Contemplation in the Region of Vorarlberg.

Since 2012 he has been holding a lecture position at the University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Besides a numerous local timber construction and client awards, he received a number of prestigious awards – including the Weissenhof Architectural Furtherance Prize 2007 for young Architects in Stuttgart, Germany and the Piranesi Award 2013 and was nominated for the DETAIL Prize 2012 and the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013.

In 2013 he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

CV Bernardo Bader (1974)

1993 – 2001      Studies of Architecture in Innsbruck
1998 – 1999      Mitarbeit bei Feichtinger Architectes, Paris
2001                 Diplom mit Auszeichnung von der Universität Innsbruck
2003                 Gründet Architekturbüro in Dornbirn
2006                 Staatlich befugter und beeidigter Ziviltechniker
seit 2010          Mitglied Gestaltungsbeirat Gemeinde Zwischenwasser und Gemeinde Andelsbuch
seit 2012          Mitglied Fachbeirat für raumrelevante Fragen, Land Vorarlberg
seit 2012          Dozent am Institut für Architektur und Raumentwicklung, Universität in Liechtenstein

2013                 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
2013                 best architect 14 Award – Auszeichnung Öffentliche Bauten
2013                 best architect 14 Award – Auszeichnung Einfamilienhäuser
2012                 Piranesi Award 2012 – 1. Preis
2012                 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Nominierung Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
2012                 Ambiente Award 2012– Gault Millau
2012                 DETAIL Preis – Nominierung zum Preis
2011                 AIT – Alpine Interior Award 2011 – Auszeichnung
2011                 Constructive – Liechtenstein Preis für nachhaltiges Bauen in den Alpen – Preisträger
2010                 Menschengerechtes Bauen 2010 – Auszeichnung
2010                 Häuser Award 2010 –  2 fache Auszeichnung
2009                 best architect award 2010
2008                 Häuser Award 2008 – Auszeichnung
2007                 Weissenhof Architekturförderpreis 2007 – Stuttgart
2003                 Bauweltpreis 2003 – Auszeichnung


GONG DONG, one of the most active young architects in China, received Bachelor & Master of Architecture from Tsinghua University, followed by a diploma at University of Illinois where he received the Master of Architecture. He also had an exchange experience at Technical University of Munich. During his study in America, Gong Dong received several awards including Excellence Award from Steedman Fellowship International Architectural Design Competition, 2000; First Prize from American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter’s Student Design Competition,2001 and Excellence Award from Malama Learning Centre International Architecture Design Cmpetition,2002. Prior to establishing his own practice he worked for Soloman Cordwell Buenz & Associates in Chicago, then at Richard Meier & Partners and Steven Holl Architects in New York.

VECTOR ARCHITECTS was founded in 2008, Beijing. During seven years practice, we have always believed that design needs to confront problems, and it should be the attitude an architect ought to possess. Instead of enforcing architect's self-conscious or following icons and superficial forms, a good design has to respect the existing environment with support of logic and reasons. The contemporary Chinese design industry today is rather blundering that the rapid production and pursuit of landmark in height, size and form have become the main stream.

Architects no longer devote their effort for the fundamental and substantial truth of architecture. In this environment, the persistence of confronting problems remains essential and crucial. In every project, Vector Architects is devoted to discover the unrevealing relationship and various possibilities in existing context. Through our design, to create the new perception and experience which are exclusive to each project. The sense of ‘being here’ is uniquely established and reflected in percipient's emotion and action. Therefore, the space, being the vessel of living, has formed an irreplaceable connection between place and experience. 


Álvaro Joaquim Melo Siza Vieira was born in Matosinhos (near Porto), in 1933. From 1949-55 he studied at the School of Architecture, University of Porto. His first built project was finished in 1954. From 1955-58 he was collaborator of Arch. Fernando Távora. He taught at the School of Architecture (ESBAP) from 1966-69 and was appointed Professor of "Construction" in 1976. He was a Visiting Professor at the Ècole Polythéchnique of Lausanne, the University of Pennsylvania, Los Andes University of Bogotá and the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University; he taught at the School of Architecture of Porto (jubilate in 2003).

He is the author of many projects such as: the Boa Nova Tea House and Restaurant; 1200 dwellings built in Malagueira, Évora; the Superior School of Education in Setúbal, the new School of Architecture in Porto; the Library of Aveiro University; the Museum of Modern Art in Porto; the Church and Parochial Centre in Marco de Canavezes; the Pavilion of Portugal for EXPO '98 and the Pavilion of Portugal in Hannover 2000 (with Souto de Moura); the dwelling and offices complex of “Terraços de Bragança” in Lisbon; and he has rebuilt the burnt area of Chiado in Lisbon since 1988, including the projects for some buildings like Castro e Melo, Grandella, Chiado Stores, and others.

He has been coordinated the plan of Schilderswijk's recuperation in The Hague, Holland, since 1985, which finished in 89; in 1995 he finished the project for blocs 6-7-8 in Ceramique Terrein, Maastricht.

In Spain he has completed the projects for the Meteorological Centre of Villa Olimpica in Barcelona; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Galicia and the Faculty of Information Sciences in Santiago de Compostela; the Rectorate of the Alicante University; Zaida building – offices, commercial and dwelling complex in Granada; Sportive Complex Cornellà de L’lobregat in Barcelona.

Cultural Centre and auditorium for the Ibere Camargo Foundation in Brazil; Municipal Centre of Rosario in Argentina; lodging-house in the Plan of Recuperation and Transformation of Cidade Velha in Cap Vert; Serpentine Pavillion (2005) with Eduardo Souto Moura; Museum of Modern Art of Naples in Italy; Anyang Pavilion in South Korea (with Carlos Castanheira); Mimesis Museum in South Korea (with Carlos Castanheira); are to be mentioned.

He has participated in several lectures and conferences in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, England, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Canada, United States, Romania, Greece, South Korea and Sweden.

Having been invited to participate in international competitions, he won the first place in Schlesisches Tor, Kreuzberg, Berlin (now built), at the recuperation of Campo di Marte in Venice (1985) and at the renewal of Casino and Café Winkler, Salzburg (1986); Cultural Centre for the La Defensa, Madrid (with José Paulo Santos) (1988/89); J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California (with Peter Testa) (1993); Pietà Rondanini Room, Sforzesco Castell, Milan (1999); Special Plan Recoletos-Prado, Madrid (with Juan Miguel Hernandez Leon e Carlos Riaño) (2002); Toledo Hospital (Sánchez-Horneros office) (2003); “Atrio de la Alhambra” in Spain (with Juan Domingo Santos)(2010); “Parco delle Cave”, Lecce in Italy (with Carlos Castanheira) (2010).

He has participated in the competitions for Expo 92 in Sevilla, Spain (with Eduardo Souto de Moura and Adalberto Dias) (1986); for "Un Progetto per Siena", Italy (with José Paulo Santos) (1988); the Cultural Centre La Defensa in Madrid, Spain (1988/89); the Bibliothèque of France in Paris (1989/90), the Helsinki Museum (with Souto de Moura) (1992-93); Flamenco City of Xerez de la Frontera, Spain (with Juan Miguel Hernandez Leon) (2003).

From 1982 to 2010 has won many different awards and have been assigned with Medals of Cultural Merit from many country around the world. Doctor "Honoris Causa" in various European and International universities.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; "Honorary Fellow" of the Royal Institute of British Architects; AIA/American Institute of Architects; Académie d'Architecture de France and European Academy of Sciences and Arts; Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts; IAA/International Academy of Architecture; American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Zhang Lei. Graduated from Southeast University in Nanjing, 1988 & Finished his postgraduate study in ETH-Zurich, 1993, Zhang Lei is now Professor in the School of Architecture & Urban Planning in Nanjing University. He was invited as guest lecturer & critic in ETH-Zurich, Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chiba Institute of Technology in Tokyo & GSD-Harvard, etc. Zhang Lei started his studio Atelier ZhangLei in Nanjing in 2001. AZL Architects was established in Nanjing & Hangzhou in June 2009.

Aside from winning awards like “WA Chinese Architecture Awards” (2002,2006,2008) and “Chinese Architecture & Art Awards” (2004) etc., Zhang Lei is also actively involved in major international exhibitions on contemporary Chinese architecture taking place in Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, America & Japan.

Zhang Lei’s works are published in domestic and international magazines & books like GA Document, Domus, Lotus, Architectural Record, Architectural Design, Architectural Review, Mark, Wallpaper, Oris, Area, Hise, Architecture Now, Architecture Now Houses, Architecture Now Museums, etc.


Hiroshi Nakamura. Born in Tokyo, 1974. Completed the Master Course, Department of Architecture, Graduated from the University of Meiji with M.Architecture Degree, 1999. Chief engineer in Kengo Kuma&Associates, 1999-2002. Established First Class Architect Office / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co., Ltd. / Currently this office representative director, 2002.

Awards. Grand Prize, JCD Design Award 2006 / Grand Prize, GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2008 / ShinKenchiku Award 2010 / Design Vanguard 2010 ARCHITECTURAL RECORD TOP 10 architect in the world (USA).

Works. Dancing trees Singing birds, House C, Roku museum.

Publishing. Microscopic Designing Methodology (INAX Publishing) / Love in Architecture(ASCII) / Reading Skills of Architects(TOTO).

André Cerejeira Fontes António Jorge Cerejeira Fontes Asbjörn Andresen Cerejeira Fontes Architects

Cerejeira Fontes Architects is a diverse architectural design and engineering firm located in Braga, Portugal. The office, providing full design services specific to the client’s needs, has a variety of projects that range from residential, social, commercial, institutional to urban planning, recognized for quality and concern.

António Jorge Cerejeira Fontes is an Architect/ Engineer. His studies include: Degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidade do Minho, Degree in Architecture from the Escola Superior Artística of Porto, Specialist in Urban Planning. In the process of obtaining a Phd in urban Planning.

André Cerejeira Fontes is an Architect/ Engineer. His studies include: Degree in Civil Engineering, from the University of Minho, Degree in Architecture from the Escola Superior Aríistica of Porto, Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. In the process of a Phd in Urban Plannig. 

Asbjörn Andresen is Sculptorer, Writer Teacher. His studies include: Master’s Degree in Art from the Academy of Art in Oslo, Norway and the École Nationale Superieure des Beux-Arts, France. He works as a teacher  at art schools in Norway and Sweeden and as a teacher and Dean at Bergen School of Architecture (2003-2009), Norway. Involved in urban planning processes in Norway and Sweden. Artwork in public spaces Norway, Sweeden and Portugal.

Miguel Fisac Serna

Miguel Fisac ​​Serna, born in 1913 in Daimiel, Ciudad Real and died in 2006 in Madrid. He was an essential figure in Spanish architecture in the second half of the twentieth century. He enrolled at the School of Architecture in Madrid, and after hectic studies interrupted by the civil war, in 1942 he graduated with the end of his career award from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

He was always interested in vernacular architecture. In addition, he was inspired by the Nordic organicism of Gunnar Asplund's work that together with Frank Lloyd Wright will influence his concept of architecture.

His first project was commissioned by the CSIC; He transformed the old auditorium of the "Colina de los Chopos" in Madrid in the Capilla del Espíritu Santo.

Miguel Fisac ​​in his career projected numerous religious works. Its ecclesial production stands out for the personal interpretation of religious aesthetics, the use of light and the spatial dynamism and poetics in its forms, with curved walls, converging and tensioned surfaces.
The Parroquia de Santa Ana in Madrid (1965) is considered one of the most important projects. Built in exposed concrete, it manifests an atmosphere of humble simplicity.

His architectural style evolved in relation to the new materials of the time. From abstract classicism, to brick, to the exclusive use of concrete. Fisac ​​researched a lot about this material and patented his “bone beams”. Prefabricated pieces of prestressed concrete that allowed to obtain large lights and control lighting. In 1960 they were used for the first time, in the construction of the Centro de Estudios Hidrográficos in Madrid.

Later, he experimented with various techniques to give texture to concrete, including in his work a more emotional character. His dissatisfaction with the limits of traditional wooden formwork, led him to patent, in 1973, an innovative solution for the time: the "flexible formwork" that could be implemented in the Mupag Rehabilitation Center (Madrid) and in many others later works.

His activity was not reduced only to the field of construction, but his creative ability led him to write articles, books, and design furniture. He made exhibitions, also of art presenting 60 of his paintings in Madrid.

Miguel Fisac ​​built more than 350 projects, including the emblematic "Pagoda" in Madrid, which unfortunately was demolished in 1999. On the contrary, many of his works are protected and cataloged. Some examples are the Church of Pumarejo de Tera (Zamora), the Church of the Apostolic College of the Dominican Fathers (Valladolid), and in Madrid works such as the Parish Center of Santa María Magdalena (1966) or the IBM Building (1967).

All these activities culminate with the obtaining in 1994 of the Gold Medal of Architecture, and three years after the Antonio Camuñas Prize. In 2002 he received the National Architecture Award. Since 2006, the College of Architects of Ciudad Real manages the Fisac ​​Foundation that is responsible for cataloging all documentation, as well as promoting and safeguarding the work of the Spanish architect, urban planner and painter.




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