Growing up in the UK, photographer Jamie McGregor Smith was familiar with traditional churches and their historic architecture. After moving to Vienna, Austria in 2018, he observed cathedrals and churches across Europe constructed in a 20th-century brutalist style.

Intrigued, McGregor planned a series of train journeys across Europe to find out more about these modernist places of worship. The photographer has spent the last five years capturing brutalist and modernist churches across Europe. Using 139 photographs from 100 churches, McGregor Smith created this book as a means of illustrating some of the sculptural and unique forms of churches built in countries such as Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, and the United Kingdom during the post-war era.

These include the concrete triangular motifs of the Templo Mariano di Monte Grisa, Trieste, Italy, completed in 1965; the cavernous, minimalist interiors of Christi Auferstehung Kirche in Cologne, Germany, completed in 1970, and aerial views of the concertina-like structure of Mehrzweckhalle der Schulschwestern in Graz, Austria, completed in 1979.

Published by Hatje Cantz with essays by writers Jonathan Meades and Ivica Brnic, Sacred Modernity: The Holy Embrace of Modernist Architecture aims to bring attention to unconventional buildings.

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Cover photo: Chiesa di San Nicolao della Flue in Milan, Italy, by Ignazio Gardella (1970)

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