bruder klaus kapelle.
Project: Brother Claus Chapel
Location: Wachendorf, Germany
Architect: Peter Zumthor
Completion Year: 2007
“This was a tough subject to think about. Good challenge! There are a lot of good buildings that I can think about in the last 10 years (there are probably more in the preceding 10 years, or more, but…) but my selected project is the most unusual one that I can recall, and admire. I would actually like to see it in the flesh someday. It would be worth the pilgrimage, as I find the photo images mysterious, calming, meditative and timeless. This is unusual for me since I am far from being a religious person, but this seemed quite inspiring.
Peter Zumthor’s Brother Claus Field Chapel in Germany, near Cologne was completed in 2007. It was built by local farmers on the edge of a field donated by husband and wife farmers Hermann-Josef and Trudel Scheidtweilerand. Zumthor used a technique called rammed concrete, where farmers poured a layer of concrete over a “tepee” of timber (112 tree trunks) every day for 24 days, leaving an unusual texture. The timber “tepee” was then burnt, using the same technique as making charcoal, leaving a charred interior, shown in the representative photo. The exterior is also interesting. The smoldering fire was kept burning for 3 weeks inside the “tepee”. The trunks were dried and removed from the concrete shell. The floor was covered with lead that had been melted on site in a crucible and manually ladled on to the floor.
This is, without a doubt, a memorable and unique project.”
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