Text description provided by the architects. The new Immanuel Church in Cologne is approached through an existing parish garden de ned by a circle of mature trees. Offering itself for outside activity and worship, this garden becomes the central element of a new ensemble that comprises a bell tower, the church, a small chapel for private prayer, as well as a columbarium.
The bell tower marks the entrance to the site from the street. A visitor enters the church through a simple rectangular entrance into a low foyer that opens out into a central nave anked by two low wings, somewhat reinterpreting the classical section of a basilica for a small, modern parish. The wings accommodate the sacristy, community rooms, music room and kitchen. The central nave provides a clear space with loose chairs that can be rearranged for community events, while a tribune rising above the foyer provides additional seating. Behind the altar a coloured timber screen reaches up to the roof, hinting at the location of the organ that lies behind. Daylight enters the church from above illuminating the altar wall, and from the rear above the tribune bringing light and the play of leaf shadows onto a matt glass screen. In the evening low hanging lamps provide an atmosphere of warm light and create an intimate scale.
Standing alone, the small, simple chapel is screened from the outside bustle. Behind the chapel a new columbarium is nestled amongst the trees. The bell tower, church and chapel are clad externally with diagonally laid timber planks. Their character is de ned by simplicity of form in combination with straightforward construction and honest materiality.
Originally published on November 19, 2013