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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Russia Orthodox Church in Parisby Ameller Dubois designed using AutoCAD, 3ds MAX, and Sketchup Pro

March 27th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

This project closely articulates three elements : a base for the cultural center ; the church as a contemporary monument rising on this base ; and the central garden as an outdoor space for contemplation and meditation. The rehabilitation of the building located rue de l’Université and the enhancement of the Palais de l’Alma add finishing touches to the urban design part of the whole project.


Russian Orthodox Church - Avenue Rapp Side


  • Architect: Ameller Dubois Associés
  • Contractor: Fédération de Russie / Nexity
  • Location: Paris [VIIe arr.]
  • Surface area: 6450 m²
  • Architects: Philippe Ameller, Jacques Dubois, Marc Pelé
  • Year: 2010
  • Type: International competition
  • Software used: Autocad; Sketchup Pro; 3DS; Photshop CS5


Quai Branly Side with the Eiffel Tower in the Background

While the proposed composition incorporates and clarifies the guidelines of the site, the church offers the opportunity to question the current interpretation of the aesthetic and symbolic principles of the Orthodox clerical architecture in the exotic context of Paris historic fabric – and in the vicinity of such iconic buildings as the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero, or the Alexandre III bridge.



Domes: Redrawn according to the aesthetic and constructive knowledge of the early 21st century, graceful bulbous cupolas symbolize the grace of Jesus Christ and the four evangelists. Their almost immaterial delicacy refers to the immateriality of the divine presence. Their bold structure (off-center rings, alternating gold and crystal) is a fervent hymn to the courage of the apostles and martyrs. The visual purity of this group of domes, almost vibrating, evokes the purity of heavenly light.

Cross-shaped building: In compliance with the Orthodox principle of using orthogonal forms as a symbolization of the earth, the church adopts a cruciform plan. The canonical evocation of this cross shape is quite clear, but this cruciform plan also marks a crucial venue for the Russian Orthodox culture and spirituality outside its original boundaries. The access steps reinforce the solemnity of the climb to the church.

With its carefully arranged varying heights, the morphology of the building is a faithfully echo to the horizontal lines of the Palais de l’Alma. It fully respects the local plan for the City of Paris.

Detached from the stone walls, a titanium cladding enshrines the entire building as a stylised chasuble. Iterative geometric pattern of an equal-arms cross flourishes as it rises. Opacity fades from earth to heaven. The silvery tones of titanium exalt the solar reflections of gold and laminated brass. Near the main body of the church, a belfry with three still bells stands at the foot of the stairs.


Axonometry and Pattern of the Outer Titane Skin

The church is elevated by a pedestal marking the passage from the secular life of the city to a holy place. This high position adds visibility to the solemn processions of the cross, which will take place in the upward movement of the base. Mainly devoted to cultural activities, sober and clear in design, this element opens on the garden and the street. It does not block in any way views on the church, but presents it to the city. It has a high access (church level) and a low one (river bank level). His plan opens to the surrounding garden, the river and on the Quai Branly. An elegant conference room is set in a central position, while a reception room faces the prestigious Palais de l’Alma.



Creating a breakthrough between the center of the plot and the Quai Branly, the garden also opens on the avenue Rapp, where the main entrance of the site is located. It is planted with Russian endemic trees (birch, oak) that extend their branches in the recesses of the upper cruciform building, and thus participate in its harmonious integration into the city.

Contact Ameller Dubois

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Categories: 3dS Max, Autocad, Church, SketchUp

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