Feldkapelle Bruder Klaus Wachendorf

Rissdorfer Weg, 53894 Mechernich



Architekt Peter Zumthor

Hermann-Josef Scheidtweiler

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Feldkapelle Bruder Klaus Wachendorf

The field chapel consecrated on June 16, 2007, has a very unusual design. Planning had taken many years.
Drawing upon the life of the hermit Brother Klaus, the design is based upon the idea of translating the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water into the language of architecture. At the same time, the building was to be made of compressed concrete. This was to associate the building with traditional construction methods of the rural population there.
The element of wind/light is symbolised by small light and air openings in the outer shell and by the “light-dark effect” when entering.
Fire can be perceived olfactorily and visually, the former by tree trunks which first were used as a kind of “lost casing” to build the carcass and then charburned.
The smoke’s smell remained, as did the charred wall structure with the tree trunks negative impressions.
Earth is shown by the concrete selected. It consists of white cement with a specially selected regional gravel. In combination with the fields around the chapel, the concrete’s structure and colour makes for a connection with the countryside and its soil, the harshness of the material notwithstanding.
At its top, the chapel is open, so that rain can get inside to be discharged at a particular place inside. This symbolises the element of water.

Author: Thomas Schiefer/ editorial baukunst-nrw
Last changed on 22.05.2023


Architecture » Public Buildings » Religious

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