Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion

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Photo of Borgloon, Belgium by Pranav Harish

Reading Between the Lines, a physical structure that blends into its surroundings, is a "see-through" church. It is an absolute astonishing architecture to say the least, an art church designed by Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh of the Belgian firm, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh. They in conjunction with the Belgian art museum Z33 created this transparent church in a public space in Borgloon, Belgium.

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

Nestled along a picturesque walking trail, the natural sunlight shining through contradicts the construction's almost completely insubstantial walls. However, from another angle the church seems to be solid, thereby people can see the installation from different elevation and scales from various points.

A traditional semi-transparent architecture with an artistic vision

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

The church, whose walls are composed of layers of steel is set on top of a concrete foundation. The layers of stacked steel creates a semi-transparent wall, which appear roughly see-through. But, from a higher or lower angle the structure suddenly appears solid. The church is made of 30 tons of steel and over 2000 columns making this traditional church a modern transparent piece of art.

Ceiling of the church

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

Church interior made of 1000s of steel colums

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

These layers merge into one structure giving it a shape that is open to various readings and perceptions depending on where it is looked from, thereby transforming it from an architectural to an artistic construction. This gives rise to the unanticipated yet stunning visual experience of "Reading Between the Lines".

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

Reading Between the Lines

Photo of Reading Between the Lines: An Optical Illusion by Pranav Harish

Reading Between the Lines is an effective optical illusion which respects the resoluteness of church institutions and the constancy of architectural and artistic approach to the structure creating a quiet place of contemplation where one is exposed to the outside world.

It merges terrain, land, environment, religion and inheritance in an art set-up that is composed of 90% air.

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