Saint-Francois-de-Molitor Church

Christianity, the religion of incarnation, believes in the sacred nature of all creation. The new Saint-Fran├žois-de-Molitor Church incorporates this ascendancy of the sacred through the use of light and materials heavy with significance, combining the sensorial aspect of stone and wood with the spirituality of light. The seat of a new parish, the building is rich in meaning. It lies between city and garden, just as the Bible begins in the Garden of Eden and ends in celestial Jerusalem. The congregation is placed between the two, grouped around the altar it enfolds without blocking the central axis giving onto a glass wall. Treated as a cloud, the glazed wall irradiates the interior while revealing the shadows of the trees that conceal any facing views. A glory cross marks the end of the axis, suggesting the perspective of the original garden. Slightly stepped forward, the ambo places the faintly backlit reader in the centre of the congregation. In this way, a celestial light accompanies the divine words.

The altar in the middle of the composition lies in the centre of a slightly hollowed floor level to ensure good vision lines from the benches laid out around the arch of the side galleries. The baptistery, revealed by the perspective, signals the entrance to the church, the first landmark of Christian faith. Set back from the galleries, the oratory faces the east. The ceiling contributes to the acoustics and its openwork joists almost weightlessly enclose the volume. The narthex acts as a lobby and assures the transition to the outside world. The external translucent elevation combines marble and glass to translate the luminous presence of the church in the district. Behind these subtle filters, the congregation inside receive Communion while remaining in contact with the outside world.


Project Type


Paris, 75016, France

Related links


  • AREP / Agence Duthilleul