Upward Focus: Church and Hall by Peter Krebs
Foto: Brigida González
In many places, congregations are shrinking. However, in this case the unification of two church communities is no reason for grief; rather, it has brought about the new construction of a church and its associated hall. In the design competition, architect Peter Krebs developed the area to the south of the lively Walther-Rathenau-Platz. The plan included both the church ensemble as well as an urban-planning concept for 21 living units. The latter now stands south of the church and have been erected by a property developer.
The two buildings are positioned on the strip of land: the church to the east and the hall to the west. In between, there is a courtyard that invites visitors to enter from the north side; it is a good venue for church festivals. A band of gardens with maples connects the three areas and serves to add a bit of distance to the residential building. Both structures share a black canopy that offers sheltered entry.
A series of differently sloping roofs divides the building heights and gives the building an expressive appearance. From outside, the ensemble looks relatively closed off thanks to the windows, which are located in the upper portion of the façade. The raised area above the altar forms the eastern starting point of the spatial sequence. Next comes the church space, which is then followed by the courtyard. To the west, the series ends on the ground floor with the two halls, which can be joined together. The exterior walls have been covered in whitewashed brick masonry, which “corresponds with the plastered buildings in the surrounding area”, according to architect Peter Krebs.
Inside as well, the architect has stuck to his light colour palette. The church floor and altar area have been done in limestone; the main pieces consist of limestone blocks which rest on limed oak grids. The northern wall is covered with a regular grid of small coloured windows, whose glass was taken from the old church buildings of the now-united congregations.