St. Benedikt Chapel / Kunze Seeholzer

© Kunze Seeholzer
©

Architects: Kunze Seeholzer Architektur&Stadtplanung
Location: Kolbermoor,
Client: Private, Franz Stettner, Kolbermoor
Structural Engineer: Stefan Baur
Project Area: 17.1 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Jann Averwerser & Kunze Seeholzer

© Jann Averwerser © Jann Averwerser © Jann Averwerser © Kunze Seeholzer

Standing isolated in a clearing in the middle of the park of the old Kolbermoor spinning mill is the Chapel of St. Benedict.

Visitors enter the sacred space by passing through a tall entrance portal that contains the chapel`s small bell: the classic image of the church with its bell tower is not abandoned, but rather reinterpreted with a modern spirit.

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The materials that give form to the project are concrete and wood. The rainwater that flows visibly inside a wooden gutters fitted onto the external walls reminds us of the passing of the seasons of life.

© Jann Averwerser
© Jann Averwerser

The great wooden door, which in its simplicity represents the façade of the chapel, marks the passage between outside and inside. Light shapes the sacred space: no window interrupts the continuity of the walls that envelop the visitors; light pours down from above uninterrupted. The gaze is focused first on the cross, before moving slowly towards the sky. Thanks to the light that filters along the whole internal perimeter, the surfaces are dissolved and the ceiling is as though suspended.

© Kunze Seeholzer
© Kunze Seeholzer

The passage between interior and exterior, between sky and earth, is fluid. The light that filters inside, ever different depending on the time of day and the season, is the only true ornament. The materials are used in their purest form in order to bring out their original characteristics.

The chapel is essentially forged by the interplay of light and shade, by the passage between the broad external clearing and the reduced dimensions of the sacred space, by the contrast between the austere concrete volume and the luxuriant nature surrounding it.

Cite: "St. Benedikt Chapel / Kunze Seeholzer" 24 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=44553>

18 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s wonderful architecture, but worthless for me as a Christian Orthodox. I couldn’t prey in it without stronger signs of its religious functions (especially images or objects of cult). My feeling is that if I’d be there with other people I’d feel like in the waiting room of a public institution.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      That is really sad… that anyone would need iconic images of someone else’s interpretations to commune with their Creator.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I’m also Orthodox, but I think it is irrelevant, given that it is a protestant chapel (ie anything goes!). I see it more as a contemplative/prayer space than a gathering space with ritual functions. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on contemporary Orthodox church architecture, Alexandru. WPJ

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it’s sheer play of scale… ‘i make the biggest one, got attention!i make the smallest one!! i got attention’… exposed concrete and neat wood work will make anything “NICE”… one has to consider the context of space… or else it’s easy to make an isolated chapel in some inhabitable place and call it, “what an art”…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      i think, i take back my words.. it’s a great job done.. a gud design.. if the context is right.. it’s well done then..

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