Andreas Meck †, Axel Frühauf - MECK ARCHITEKTEN GMBH - Germany
Seliger Pater Rupert Mayer Church - 2018
Within an extremely delicate urban context, the new church, with its sculptural form, acts as a keystone, playing a role as an authentic interface between the green landscape and the urban context. In doing so, the project summarizes the different relationships between the countryside and the city, merging them; this is particularly evident in the square in front of the church, which, seen from the street, is an inviting place of refuge for the public. The massive base, covered with the gravel conglomerate typical of Upper Bavaria, forms the base of the church, which seems to rise directly from the ground.
Above the latter, as an imposing and easily identifiable landmark of the new parish church, there is the white ceramic tile roof as it unfolds with sculptural energy. The contrast between the ethereal summit in its whiteness and the stone foundations represents a vision of heaven and earth, of transcendence and immanence, and it is precisely in this field of tension that the space of the church is anchored.
The church building opens onto the rectory and the churchyard. Entering the space of the church, with its slight slope towards the altar, after having walked through the entrance area, located on a lower level, a space of light, of baroque reminiscence opens up before us, inviting us to look up to the sky. The latter, both in its construction and in its symbolic meaning, is composed of a cross in space that manifests itself as a powerful image. In analogy with the Holy Trinity, three large skylights illuminate different places and liturgical activities respectively. The particularly sculptural execution of the ceramic tiles goes well with the concept of light and space in the church hall, creating, with its highly differentiated geometry, a multiform refraction of light. Playing with light in this way, the landscape created by the roof becomes the crystal "city crown" of the city of Poing.
A church for proximity and encounter: understandable, open, inviting, memorable and clearly visible from afar.
Derek Dellekamp/Jachen Schleich + Camilo Restrepo - DELLEKAMP/SCHLEICH + AGENDARQ - Mexico, Colombia
Señor de Tula Shrine - 2020
One of the challenges that architecture has to face in these complex times is perhaps the same one that contemporary society as a whole has to face: the difficulty in finding spaces - and we are full of them - in which to discover reasons to make us necessary as people and as social agents. And it will undoubtedly be necessary to ask ourselves how much our life is defined by excess, and how much by real need. We have to occupy spaces with great generosity, working from the very foundations of architecture and its practice, to face challenges of as yet unknown dimensions.
On 19 September 2017, exactly 32 years after the earthquake that devastated Mexico in 1985, the tragedy was repeated. Only a few hours after the exercise that commemorated this anniversary, Mexico suffered another earthquake that destroyed or rendered uninhabitable public buildings and over 100,000 homes. The mobilization and solidarity of civil society was immediate and ranged from mounting vital relief operations to providing professional organizations in different areas that sought to provide manpower and know-how to address urgent needs and plan reconstruction efforts.
The architects of Mexico City focused on a joint initiative called Reconstruir México (Rebuild Mexico); hundreds of architects and urban planners came together and addressed the problems from various fronts.
The urgency of resolving immediate needs has been fuelled by the uncertainty of state aid. Reconstruction programmes normally focus on the provision of housing materials and the authorities lose sight of planning and public space on the premise of dealing with what seems most urgent.
Our team was responsible for the reconstruction of the Shrine of Señor de Tula. The urgency of the situation required the use of cheap and easily accessible materials and labor, hence the decision to use concrete. In addition, our understanding of the social and climatic context led us to think about spatial typologies and models according to the place and its opportunities. First of all, the idea and the possibility of an open chapel, a house for all with open doors and in direct contact with public space. The question was not only to solve and provide a space for worship and worship, but also a place in contact with nature, and as public as possible, especially after a catastrophe, where places of aggregation disappear from everyday life.
Our project tries to build threshold spaces, of indefinite limits, without clearly distinguishing between interior and exterior, and in this ambiguity can be used in various ways. We thought about materials in a very pragmatic way, first of all in the sense of austerity, resistance and low maintenance, but also as materiality that could bring local knowledge and craftsmanship.
The church is resolved in two different strategies, on the one hand, the material as a brick surface that defines the floor and roof, and the concrete as a load-bearing structure that acts as an open wall structure. This condition gives a sense of openness and resistance, giving confidence and identity to local traditions.
On the other hand, the second strategy aimed to provide a space in which light, air and climate could pass, creating and improving a different atmosphere for spiritual experience and reflection. Therefore, the floor has a slight slope, going towards the church, allowing people to disconnect from the outside world without losing it, but at the same time to focus on the experience of faith and sacred ceremony.
Award Ambassadors / Mentioned
Carlo Ferrari, Alberto Pontiroli - ARCHINGEGNO - Italy
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 2018
The new church makes one think of renewed and more human possibilities for urban life.
Borgo Nuovo has been for decades the problematic district of Verona, with situations of great discomfort and degradation. Today it is undergoing a process of development; there are large condominiums and new blocks of social housing, but above all a community that finds in the new church with parish centre suitable environments for worship and social and educational activities.
The challenge was to read the soul of such a particular place, to create a spiritual refuge, in tune with the authentic spirit of the neighborhood and to respond to the request for the recovery of elements - rose window, organ, bells, sacred images - of the church that was there before, to give the new historical perspective and the community an identity reference.
The corner stone is the bell tower, it has a simple and sober shape, with an almost monastic aesthetic, placed in the most important place in the neighborhood to pay homage to Angelo dall'Oca Bianca, philanthropic artist and founder of the same neighborhood built in the '30s to give shelter to the poor of the city, which is buried just opposite.
From the bell tower winds the body of the liturgical hall, deliberately high, proportioned to the new urbanity, which culminates in the skylight of the presbyterial area.
The facade has wings of different depths to accompany the visitor inside. Soft surfaces and the internal wooden shell give body to an enveloping nucleus both in plan and in elevation, set on a bell shaped plan in which the curvature of the presbyterial area slows down the longitudinal setting. The space is designed, not only for a static aesthetic vision, but for a dynamic action in conformity with the nature of the saving event celebrated in the liturgy.
The direction on the east-west axis - square/altar - is clear and recognizable especially in the elevation, while on the plane and hybridized with the opposite north-south axis, on which is set the path from the entrance from the parish center to the baptismal font.
Light is used as a building material, similarly to concrete, stone and wood, creating a timeless atmosphere. The internal perception is of a continuous liturgical space, whose orientation is given by the different weight of light in the various environments, where each element - shapes, materials, colour, iconography - is perfectly integrated.
ATELIER ŠTĚPÁN - Czech Republic
Church of St Wenceslas - 2017
The idea to build the church in Sazovice was born before the Second World War. Three years ago the people of Sazovice founded an association for the construction of the church.
On the outside, I wanted to dematerialize the building. It looks like something light, abstract, bright and natural. It evokes more paper than brick. It's like a ring of paper with a cut that you push or pull to get more light inside.
Visitors do not perceive the thickness of the walls, because they are thinning from half a metre to a centimetre. The light passing through the cuts illuminates the space. It slides along the walls and shapes the shape. The penetration of light into the building is twofold - the wall bends outwards or inwards - which can be understood as a reflection of the male and female principle.
Light becomes a factor that creates a division between what is verifiable by the senses and what is beyond the material world.
The staircase of the building is based on the Prague Chapel: the perimeter of the church is limited to the Prague Chapel Square. Its cylindrical mass refers to the time of St. Wenceslas, when the roundabouts were built.
The interior is simple and clean to give a sense of peace and quiet.
The oldest churches are full of visual information: the whole story is written in paintings, sculptures, decoration. For example, the interior of the baroque church was completely descriptive to give people an idea of Jesus' life. People today are overloaded with information, the church should only perceive the purity of space and peace and realize its inner self.
It is a space without the possibility that visual smog obscures personal identification; it is a simple, concentrated and pure memory.
BLANKPAGE ARCHITECTS - Lebanon
Church of Saint Charbel - 2018
Located on a site steeped in history, the challenge was to implement a new, larger church without obscuring the smaller 18th century chapel with its vaulted limestone structure.
Recognising the historical value and pre-eminence of the nearby building, the new church humbly adopts a low profile at the entrance that rises as it reaches the back wall of the altar. It constitutes both a backdrop and an external amphitheatre that highlights and integrates the ancient building into the rituals of sacred ceremonies.
With its interior height ranging from 3m to 10m, the church allows for a transcendental spatial experience that is further enhanced by a large skylight located at the apex where a sunset light of varying intensity floods the back wall above the altar and creates the atmosphere of the church.
A cross is carved into this large wall like a negative imprint that opens the church to the light of the sole rising East.
The roof of the church, an open-air amphitheatre cascading down towards the historic building, is suspended between two monolithic concrete skeletons, dotted with two large olive trees, ready to be covered with layers of climbing greenery.
Rising independently in the centre of the courtyard, a steel bell tower stands out between the concrete structure and the limestone chapel with a bell inserted in the centre of the cross.
The protagonist, above all else, remains the old chapel that defines the new church.
CONTINIARCHITECTURE - Italy
Church of Santa Maria and community centre - 2019
Church and community centre in Castel di Lama AP Italy
The building for worship is the last realized part of the large parish center that includes, in addition to the church, spaces for education and meeting, sports and recreational facilities giving rise to an urban system of considerable community effect.
Result of a competition in 2006, the project develops the idea of a rootedness to the place of the building structures through the volumetric arrangement and the use of local materials, relating to the inhabited area with pedestrian paths that cross the space of the churchyard that widens into the large garden square.
A fundamental element of the project is the public pedestrian path that crosses the new settlement, separating the volumes of the church from those of the parish activities and suggesting possible urban connections with the other public areas around.
The square in front of the churchyard is delimited not only by the facade of the church, but also by a simple wall on the south side and a closed porch towards the main street.
These limits allow to obtain a sense of recollection of space, a dimension more consonant with collective living, with the finding of a community.
The bell tower placed towards the main road and the inhabited centre, signals with its height the position of the parish centre to the surrounding territory.
The building dedicated to worship is characterized on the outside by the large façade in travertine slabs used as a filter to glimpse the interior spaces of the church.
The interior houses a large elliptical suspended velarium, a place of assembly and space for the liturgy. The liturgical places, baptismal font, ambo, altar, seat, crucifix and tabernacle are arranged along a path that crosses longitudinally the presbyterial space and ends in a garden where an olive tree has been placed.
The disposition of the assembly interprets the dictates of the Vatican Council according to, with the presbyterial area surrounded by the sessions of the faithful forming the substance of becoming "Church". The altar and the ambo are placed frontally in the two fires of the ellipse to emphasize the equal dignity of the table and the word.
Inside the church the travertine works of art by Giuliano Giuliani define in a spiritual way the places of the liturgy.
NIALL MCLAUGHLIN ARCHITECTS - United Kingdom
Cappela Bishop Edward King - 2013
Ripon Theological College needed a new chapel to serve the college community and a small order of nuns. The request was for a space that could accommodate the range of worship needs of the two communities in an antiphonal arrangement, suitable for both community meetings and personal prayer.
On the site there's a big beech tree on the edge of the hill. In front of the beech tree and behind the buildings, a ring of mature trees on a hill dominates a valley. This clearing has a special character, full of wind, light, rustling leaves. We tried to capture it inside the building.
The starting point of this project was the word "nave". The word describes the central space of a church, but shares the same origin as "navis", a ship, and also means the immobile centre of a spinning wheel. The quiet, in the midst of the movement, seemed to embody the preparation for the priesthood.
Two architectural images emerged from this.
The first is the hollow in the ground as a meeting place for the community.
The second is the structure similar to a ship floating above the canopy of the trees, a place of gathering light and sound.
We used the geometry of the ellipse to reflect the idea of the exchange between perfect and imperfect at the center of Christian thought. To build an ellipse the stable circle plays against the line. It is about movement back and forth. The movement, inherent in geometry, is expressed in the chapel by the perimeter ambulatory. One can walk around the chapel, looking into the brightest space in the centre.
The chapel, seen from the outside, is a single stone fence. We used Clipsham stone, which is in tune with the existing limestone buildings nearby. The base of the chapel and ancillary structures are covered with regular rusticated courses. The upper part of the chapel is clad with a cut masonry stone, placed in a special way. The wall of the chapel is surmounted by stone. The roof and internal reinforcement are self-supporting and independent of the external walls.
The internal wooden structure is made of glulam fir sections. This structure expresses the geometric construction of the ellipse, a ferry between the centre and the edge with straight lines.
As you move around the chapel, a rhythm that unfolds intertwines between the columns, beyond the simple elliptical walls. The chapel can be seen as a ship in a bottle, with the nave hidden.
PETER KREBS - BUERO FUER ARCHITEKTUR - Germany
Church Petrus Jakobus - 2017
Petrus Jakobus Church is part of a new Protestant community centre and is located at the southern end of a local market.
From a distance the building appears introverted, but once inside, the spatial sequence composed of the sanctuary, the church hall and two community halls opens towards a courtyard, which serves as a connection between the church and the community centre and as an entrance space. It can be used as a meeting space outside. The church and community centre are open onto this space.
The outside of the walls is built with bricks and is covered with very thin plaster to brighten the walls and to refer to the bright buildings of the neighborhood.
A sequence of pitched roof segments connects parts of the building and also refers to the traditional two-pitch roofs of the neighborhood. The roof gives shape to the interior of the church.
There are large windows located in a bright space above the altar: one window opens to the east and one to the south. The changing light through these two windows creates the atmosphere inside the church all day long.
An east-west sequence of inner courtyards with trees on the south side of the Church and the Community Centre forms an area away from the residential buildings to the south, the result of an urban planning proposal in the competition.
An internal east-west "road" connects all the spaces and ends (or begins) with the baptismal font of the church. Like the altar, this is also designed by the architects.
The stained glass windows were taken from the former church buildings. The materials of the church are limestone, wood, metal and the walls are plastered with a light silicate paint.
VÍTOR LEAL BARROS ARCHITECTURE - Portugal
Divine Church Salvador - 2019
An open door.
The project of the church of the Divine Salvador was born from the study of the Christian liturgical spatial evolution and the understanding of the complex morphology of the site of intervention.
A base built from granite walls extends from the surroundings, supporting the temple. A new churchyard separates, both functionally and volumetrically, the new church from the multi-purpose building, like an external antechamber that invites users to silence. On the churchyard the sky stands out, you can hear the sound of olive leaves swept by the wind and the flow of water from a fountain.
A glass door appears as a metaphor for an open and tolerant Christian community, inviting everyone to join a large shared family.
Inside, the presbytery and the nave ascend towards God from the large vertical skylight that recalls the resurrection of Christ through its glass and luminous walls. The skylight is also the element of the church that calls, as it replaces the traditional bell towers. In the new church, the invitation is produced by light instead of sound.
The two side aisles end on two vertical chapels that house the tabernacle and the baptistery. Both chapels represent the relationship of uniqueness between the sacraments and God.
The Mortuary Chapel, located on the north side of the building, has its entrance from the courtyard of the old Mother Church of São Salvador, giving unity to the old street profile and ensuring continuous use of the old building for funeral rites.