Five years ago, when the French Cistercian monks were choosing an architect to reconstruct the abandoned Novi Dvur monastery in Bohemia, they invited John Pawson, an adherent of the principle "big in small", the author of the famous book "Minimum". Its style is consistent with the spirit of all Cistercian buildings since the founding of the order in 1132. Their formal language lies in the complete absence of decor, in the clear legibility of constructive solutions. The "work" of the stone walls and vaults was supposed to symbolize the daily work of the monks.
On September 2, a complex of polished concrete will open, which includes a church and cells, where 23 monks, 10 of whom are Czechs, will live.
The courtyard, an obligatory part of any monastery complex, is devoid of a traditional colonnade; a semicircular vault hangs over the bypass gallery, not supported by anything.
In the inner space of the chapel, sunlight penetrates, divided into separate "rays". Unlike many modern architects who rely on the idea of "divine light" in the design of sacred structures, for Pawson the main thing was the purity and geometric clarity of lines and volumes.