St. Dominic Centre in Munich

Nordheide, a new district for 5000 inhabitants, is taking shape. The Dominikuszentrum, the district’s new spiritual centre, includes a chapel, rectory, pre-school and Care Centre. Serving an urbanistic function as well, the building aids orientation: from the rapid transit exit a couple of hundred metres away, a path leading to it can be seen cutting diagonally through the new neighbourhood. The brick surfaces stand in stark contrast to the adjacent, colourfully rendered dwellings. The sensual material, used for the ceilings, floors and walls has a calm aura, and represents both time-tested building culture and the primal building material earth. The large courtyard is shielded from the hustle and bustle of the city. The roof terraces are also visually screened, blocking distracting stimuli, and calling on the congregation to turn its attention inward. Irregular, peat-fired bricks were selected to achieve an animated facade. At the entrances, religious terminology has been engraved in the bricks in twenty different languages. In the chapel, the artist Anna Leonie applied up to 27 layers of blue glaze by hand. The surface of the bricks can still be discerned through the glaze, while the intensity with which it glows varies depending on the number of layers applied. The large skylight reinforces the effect. For celebrations, the bronze gates are opened, thereby extending the chapel into the forecourt and enabling a large number of worshippers to attend.
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