Bruder Klaus Field Chapel by Peter Zumthor, Wachendorf, Germany, 2015.
"In order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction.” This quote from Peter Zumthor rings true in his design of Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, where a mystical and thought-proving interior is masked by a very rigid rectangular exterior (also see a picture of the chapels extetior I posted before). Bruder Klaus Field Chapel all began as a sketch, eventually evolving to become a very elegant yet basic landmark in Germany’s natural landscape. Peter Zumthor's design was constructed by local farmers who wanted to honor their patron saint, Bruder Klaus of the 15th century.
Arguably the most interesting aspects of the chapel are found in the methods of construction, beginning with a wigwam made of 112 tree trunks. Upon completion of the formwork, layer after layer of concrete was poured onto the existing surface, each around 50cm thick. When the concrete of all 24 layers had set, the wooden inner frame was set on fire, eventually leaving behind a hollowed blackened cavity and charred walls.
The unique roofing surface of the interior is balanced by a floor of frozen molten lead. Gaze is pulled up by way of obvious directionality, to the point where the roof is open to the sky and night stars. This controls the weather of the chapel, as rain and sunlight both penetrate the opening and create an ambience or experience very specific to the time of day and year.
Peter Zumthor: “To me, buildings can have a beautiful silence that I associate with attributes such as composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well; a building that is being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just being.”
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