Dove of Peace by Sunlay Design


Beijing studio Sunlay Design have designed a church for Ordos in Inner Mongolia, which has a plan based on the profile of a bird in flight.

Called Dove of Peace, the hilltop church will be made of concrete and incorporate a pool of water at one end of the terrace.

Apertures in the exterior walls create a play of light and shadows within.

More about Ordos on Dezeen:

Gimme Shelter by Rojkind Arquitectos
Ordos Hilton Hotel by VMX Architects
(X) for Ordos 100 by Multiplicities
Inside Out – Outside In by Rocker-Lange Architects
Villa N°14 by Dellekamp Arquitectos
Ordos 100 villa by Luca Selva Architects
Ordos villa by Estudio Barozzi Veiga

Here's some more information from Sunlay Design:


Ordos Protestant Church

Located on top of a hill of Ordos, planned as a green open space for the city, the project takes its inspiration from the topography of the land.

The surrounding landscape offers a strong contrast of colors and depth, creating a rich changing background from day time to night time for the church’s settlement.

It sets framed views of the church in a characterized landscape of excavated rocks proper to a city like Ordos, in Inner Mongolia.

The scheme, named “Dove of Peace”, gives its metaphor and poetry to the church by re-interpreting a contemporary and abstract silhouette of the bird carrying a branch of Olive in its beak.

The Church has a concrete structure and uses white crepi finish for its facades. Its dynamic shape follows the adjacent curved road that crosses the site.

The dialogue between the outside and the inside space is emphasized by the play of shadows and light that creates complexity and depth in the reading of the space. Its elements are thought to reflect harmony and tranquility in this place for prays and celebration.

Location: Ordos, China
Year of Design: 2009
Architect: Beijing Sunlay Design
Type: Public and Mixed-use
Client: Ordos City Planning Administration Bureau

Posted on Tuesday January 5th 2010 at 8:35 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Juampi Z


  • aldo

    Great! love the simplicity

  • It is a tribute to spirituality, thousand Bravo!

    François Beydoun

  • Chinaboom

    Hope it gets built as per renderings, has anyone seen their built work on portfolio?…neoclassical, baroque, tudor, postmod jargon…

  • I desire more from the windows, they seem disconnected with the form. More could have been done with the meaning and setting.

  • Tim

    a bit of tadao, a bit of zaha, a bit of corbu and a silly starting image to derive a plan from. I may (arguably) look good, but it’s not my kind of architecture, to say the least. It lacks a meaning of it’s own.

  • More than a few Zaha references there, but with less detail.

  • Bozo

    Zaha wants her windows back

  • Bozo

    Ando wants his concept back

  • Gilbert

    The interior looks like a mix of tadao ando’s Church Of Light and Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp chapel design. Too much of coincidence?

  • Thierry

    well done!! very nice!! love the space…

  • nicey

    curious. i do like it, but why take the graphic of a bird in profile, lay it flat and project it upwards? the answer : why not? surely won’t do. without the benefit of aerial photography a million earthbound worshippers over a thousand years would never guess as to the inspiration for the plan. curious.

  • nancy

    stunning…the interior reminds me of Ronchamp.

  • THEO

    a mix of Hadid- Ando- Corbusier …GREAT WORK!!!

  • Tyler

    I can’t find a picture that shows it well, but this reminds me a lot of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Kansas City, only it’s based on the Christian fish rather than a bird. Interesting.

  • john

    an Ando cross window… some cuts from Zaha’s phaeno . not very cool

  • anel

    BAVISIMO!!!!!!! :))

  • architcl

    church on water by tadao ando + church of light by ando again + wolfsburg science centre by zaha. very creative indeed and simple of course.

  • great architecture …. love it

  • Martin

    Where’s sacristy?

  • danny

    ew. what a cheap concept for a plan layout…

  • kate

    the cross fram gives the feeling. well done

  • coucoub

    The designer is a french born chinese, he is very talented…

  • John

    Nowadays, I wonder who can design a building without any reference?
    Many designers take other designers’ elements to form their own agenda, I think it is absolutely understandable…

  • zee

    I thought the exact same thing as many others here. Zaha + Ando

  • roel

    where is the bird?? don’t see it… about all the remarks about copying hadid, ando, and so on: every design will show some inspiration by some other buildings, used materials or shapes, it is impossible to prevent that. everybody who is in architecture is looking around. try to build 1000’s of buildings every year completely original… this design is very original, and everybody who wants to, can find something that is reminding of something else!

  • Filip

    Seems a bit much for a church building, it doesn’t sit very well on the site and is more of an advert for christianity than a benefit to society. There have been far better examples of modern religious structures that are far more humble and better executed. Perhaps these religious leaders have forgotten that they are not at the top of the food chain anymore with commercial activities being the new religion.

    I agree to the references to an extent but i’m sure Zaha Hadid/her employees got those windows from other design references, so they can hardly be called original.
    The rationale behind the design is poor so the design has no legs to stand on.

  • reece

    this looks great all the way up the crosses. they’re out of balance with the rest of the form and feel forced on to it. i think a little more thought into them being tied in would complete this project.

  • KJS


    I doubt the functions typical of a sacristy would be relevant for the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the state-sanctioned Protestant church in China).

  • Don

    Nice renderings! Somehow compinaision with Ando + Zaha, and a little bit monumentary style.

  • Dan

    It’s very Zaha.

  • amsam

    Beautiful! No better people to descend from than Zaha and Tadao. Hope they build it right.

  • pinca

    I really do not believe on what some people writes, sometimes.

    Amazing how its so easy to say: this looks like "something", the concept was stolen from "something"……

    How can you build, nowadays, without references!? Is there any genious!? Even Corbusier, Niemeyer, Siza, Zaha, Zumpthor, Ando, who you like most have their own references…..

    Please, appreciate architecture and the effort of some to do something. Of this architects pick references at least they choose good ones, which shows inteligence!

    Everybody could learn something more if they could read well done and based/inteligent critics/opinions.

    • sdmhy

      “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal” – Pablo Picasso.

  • Hars

    Where’s that crucifix again?…. I can’t see it, oh, wait…… there it is.

  • TRUE

    But! It’a a nice plan anyway!

  • torres

    hey any of u guys willing to guide me in architecture? pls give me ur msn..

  • its quite lovely but when one considers the pretty obvious similarities to ando, corbu and zaha, ( which may be coincidental but yet too strong to ignore) i would have expected them to possible develop those references further instead of regressing. at least from the renders, it seems it lacks the spiritual depth of andos church, the detailing of phaeno and the depth and light quality of ronchamp.
    but if one were to view it in isolation, it has great potential

  • happycatalan

    Tim has said everything, a collage of church of light+ronchamp+phaeno building… bad mixed…it doesn’t bring nothing to contemporary architecture.

  • Abhi


  • it really looks like the windows of zaha and ronchamp chapel of corbusier

  • T2g

    why destroy this wonderfull landscape with this quiet clichéd building ?

  • Wes

    Good work! a mix of the best bits from modern architects. Now, if you go back to south wall on Ronchamp, How thickness of wall tapers towards the top and size of openings expands towards bottom. sense of human scale would benefit your design. The structure of the gallery walk seem predictable. Perhaps a sense of unknow would help enrich the journey towards the worshiping space. Water and light can be best friends. Interior renders still direct light ray, it denies the existence of water. How would you welcome this drama into your interior space. You stood on the shoulder of the giant. This is a very good start, now try reach for the sky.