Bristol Boat Company: A Different Kind of Project


In case you thought master boatbuilder and Proprietor of Bristol Boat Company, Dan Shea, ever got bored with wooden boat building (never… no way, not ever even after 30 years), then you’ll be pleased to see that every once in a while a cool, non buoyant project makes its ways into every great boat shop. Skilled hands and sharp minds like Dan’s are a find and when a family from South Korea came to Dan with drawings for a 40-foot tall Egg shaped chapel.

Built in twelve sections in Dan’s Bristol workshop with familiar tools and materials, O’Shea shipped the pieces to Seoul to be assembled on site.

It’s a fun video to watch because Dan’s excitement about this crazy project is contagious. Here is some more info about this amazing build: And some great photos here.

Handcrafted by old-school shipbuilders and assembled on-site by a local family in Munho-ri, near Seoul, the Egg Chapel is a beautiful example of original architectural work constructed with the support of a local community. The small, non-denominational pilgrimage destination was designed by New York-based architect Andrew MacNair to provide an intimate space for weddings, baptisms and anniversaries in the South Korean town.

The wood parts were handcrafted by boat builders in Rhode Island and New York, and then shipped in 12 vertical sections to Inchon in South Korea. The Chapel is 30 feet high, 14 feet wide at the floor and 22 feet wide at its maximum girth. It is built on top of a concrete crypt — a structural foundation and underground quiet room. Supporting the base ring are 6 round concrete columns, which help anchor the wood chapel to the ground.

Situated high in the mountains of Yangpyeong County, the chapel entrance faces south so that direct afternoon sunlight can illuminate the structure’s center and bathe the altar in daylight. The position of the openings and the sheltering cylindrical shape reinforce the spiritual experience of the space. The intimate atmosphere is enriched by spiritual symbolism within the architectural design itself; the egg as the “seed of life“, a symbol of birth and rebirth which transforms the an apparently lifeless object out of which comes life.

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