This church looks like any other typical weather-worn church: Dark wood, a massive steeple, and high on a hill presumably above a town where the local congregants live.
But that assumption would be totally wrong. This is the Borgloon transparent church, located in Borgloon, Belgium. As you can see in the slide show above, it looks like a normal, solid structure, but as you move around the building it reveals that it’s actually missing parts of itself — with pieces seemingly disappearing as you move around it.
We stumbled upon these photos via imgur user sokohilton, then did some more digging. The Belgian architect group Gijs Van Vaerenbergh built the church for an art project called “Reading Between the Lines.” It is a composition of 100 layers of stacked steel, “that are equidistantly staggered in a way that [elusively] change in appearance based on where the viewer is standing.” Sokohilton goes on to say, “The intent behind its design, was for the church to be tangibly present… But also visually absent at the same time.”
“Reading Between the Lines” was part of “Pit,” an art project with works by ten artists in the region of Borgloon-Heers (in the Flemish province of Limburg), and it was revealed back in 2012. Arch Daily explained the project this way:
“Reading Between the Lines” can be read as a reflection on architectural themes such as scale, the ground plan etc., but the project also emphatically transcends the strictly architectural. After all, the church does not have a well-defined function and focuses on visual experience in itself (one could even consider it to be a line drawing in space). At the same time, the construction demonstrates that this experience is in effect a consequence of the design, since it explicitly refers to the various stages in its conception: the design drawing, the model… Apart from that, because the church does not FULFILL its classical function, it can be read as a heritage related reflection on the present vacancy of churches in the area (and their potential artistic reuse).
It’s evidently become quite a local attraction. Check it out in the photos below. There are even more images here.