“Even atheists need a temple”, thinks Alain de Botton and asked Peter Zumthor to design a retreat, an hermitage for nonbeliever without god in the South of England.
At a beautiful isolated site Zumthor designed a stone structure of five interlocking pavilions. It is a marriage of monolith stones and glass. A building that breathes the spirit of religious buildings but in absence of god. The building will be all about textures and the contrast between stone and glass.
“Hardcore-atheists”, however, are not really excited for Alain de Botton’s ideas. They accuse him of “being especially religious”.
The “Secular Retreat” should be realized in 2014.