The Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes will transport you to a forest fairy tale.
Tucked away in the lush cliffside woods of Palos Verdes is this stunning glass chapel, designed by Lloyd Wright—son of famed American architect Frank Lloyd. It looks like it’s straight out of The Enchanted Isles from The Lord of the Rings, but you don’t have to nerd out to appreciate this stunning architectural creation.
Its angular glass panels are hugged by surrounding trees, creating this beautiful play on the natural light that pours in, dancing across the wooden pews and smooth screed floors. This 28-foot-high structure blurs the boundary between the inside space and the woodland and ocean landscapes outside. Wright is said to have drawn inspiration from the redwoods of Northern California and the cathedral-like illusion they create for the viewers below.
In the 1920s, a member of the church in Los Angeles put forward the idea of having an idyllic hillside chapel that would become a spiritual sanctuary, allowing people to meditate, rest, and give thanks. Plans were later submitted by Wright, who took to the vision of creating harmony between nature and the inner world of mind and spirit. His ideas followed Swedenborg’s ideas as closely as possible at the time, and in 1951, the “tree chapel” was born.
A series of triangular wooden archways are connected by glass panels at 30 and 60-degree angles through which you can see the deep blues of the Pacific Ocean stretching out in front of you. The walls and roof are encapsulated by redwoods that were planted around it over 70 years ago. It’s a visual marvel and one of the earliest examples of “organic architecture” that continues to evolve with the surroundings.Wesbite
Location: 5755 Palos Verdes Drive South Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275