Ka Don Church in Don Duong district (Source: facebook of the church)

Hanoi (VNA) – Ka Don Church in Don Duong District in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has come in second place at the 6th International Prize for Sacred Architecture.

The prize was announced recently in Pavia City in Italy and the award ceremony will take place in the city on October 4, the day the Feast of St Francis of Assisi is celebrated.

Ka Don Church was designed by architect couple Vu Thi Thu Huong and Nguyen Tuan Dung in accordance with the ideas of priest Giuse Nguyen Duc Ngoc.

While the couple, from the Technical University of Berlin, were writing their dissertation on architecture design, they met priest Ngoc. The priest told them he wished to build a church around a simple design, stripping back on colour and decoration.

The church, which took four years to build, was completed last July. The church portrays a closer relationship with nature by opening spaces outwards and by using simple local materials like pine wood and red tiles.

The church’s design is similar to the architecture of the Churu ethnic group in the province. The group’s population numbers some 15,000 people. The interior of the church was designed according to the Churu people’s traditional designs.

The church keeps a low height and it therefore merges with surrounding mountains and hills. The bell tower is the only part of the church high enough to be visible to local residents.

The wood-framed glass wall system allows interaction between those inside and outside the church during worship by the faithful.

Vietnamese architects Huong and Dung received support from architect Finn Geipel, professor Klaus Zillich, professor Rainer Mertes and professor Eddy Widjaja.

The International Prize for Sacred Architecture is held by the Frate Sole Foundation, which was created with the aim of stimulating awareness of the need for excellent churches and with the intention of giving active encouragement to their construction.

The first prize in the sixth competition went to the church of San Sebastian in Spain, while the new Saint Trinitatis Church in Germany came in third place, after the Vietnamese entry.

The competition is held once every four years. The last time, the first prize was awarded to architect Cristian Undurraga for the church built in Chile in 2012.-VNA