Appropriately enough some might say, it seems the best material when building churches is natural light. It is light which works its architectural magic at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Seattle, turning a downtown block with five stories of affordable housing above, into a colourful place of worship. In each of the examples below light is beckoned in to create churches out of stone, steel, concrete and glass: fiat lux.

Above, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Seattle by Olson Kundig Architects. Below, Acapulco Sunset Church, Mexico by BNKR Arquitectura.

Below, innovatively curved stained glass from Iceland, designed in the late 1950s by Gerour Hegadottir.

Below, the Chapel of St Basil in Houston, Texas by Merriman Holt.

Translucent steel church shaped structures in the Netherlands, part of the ‘Reading Between the Lines’ project by Belgian designers Gijs Van Vaerenbergh.

The tiny concrete Church of the Light designed by Tadao Ando in Osaka, Japan.