Church in Lebanon features cross-shaped windows to filter natural light


Paris-based architect Maroun Lahoud has designed a marble-lined church on Mount Lebanon, comprising of a series of stacked blocks that fit into the mountain terrains.


The St Elie Church is located in the Chouf District of Lebanon, just outside of Beirut and features cruciform windows that are carved through the bush-hammered stone walls.



It contains a semi-sunken hall, a raised service area as well as a bell tower.


The minimal volumes are based on the style of the local Maronite churches, which consist of floor roofs and short bell towers.




The main section of the church has natural lighting due to the number of cruciform-shaped openings in the walls. The multipurpose hall is set beneath and features floor-to-ceiling glazing as well as bright white balls and pale marble that help reflect the light.


“The interior is crafted with indirect lighting schemes: zenithal lighting above the altar, sacristy and confessional, and parietal along the lateral circulations,” said the architect.”The white walls seem to diffuse natural light, the marble floor reflecting it in turn.”


The church was commissioned by the Ministry of Displacement, a government body set up to administrate reconciliation between Christian and Druze groups following the civil war in the region.


The stone walls of the building are constructed from the rubble of some of the houses that were destroyed during the war.


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