Léon Stynen / Paul de Meyer: St. Rita Church (Sint-Ritakerk), 1963C–1968

  • Harelbeke, Belgium, Show on map
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  • The church’s monolithic architecture is formed by a 30-meter-high pyramidal structure. There is a sense of cohesiveness between the exterior and the interior, yet the atmosphere of the in and outside can be perceived completely different. What makes this church so special is the fact that the architect and the engineer have managed to minimise the use of materials by reducing the concrete’s thickness to 8,5 cm with a 4,5 cm thick insulation layer made from wood-fibre cement panels. The only source of natural light is provided by the skylight window of the truncated pyramid, which makes the staggering space truly ethereal and contemplative.

  • The brutalist church is officially protected as a monument by the Flemish department of heritage. It is a prime example of late-modernist religious architecture in Belgium and it is recognised as one of the architect’s most important work. Nowadays, the church is still used for the Eucharist, although there are plans set for restorations and a mixed-use. Special thanks to Quinten Malfait!