Kirche in Kaltenbach

Kirche in Kaltenbach

Vécsey Schmidt Architekten
Kaltenbach, Lörrach, Germany
Project Year
Arkitekturfotograf Rasmus Norlander

Kirche in Kaltenbach

Vécsey Schmidt Architekten as Architects

Entering the church St. Michael, you are suddenly captured by the exceptional dramaturgy of space: Coming from downstairs you take 2 or 3 steps, arriving at the hall in the church tower. Then, ensuing you take again a stair to step in the clear and bright main hall of the church.


The liturgical elements find a new order with the communion table in the center. There behind, the organ, also part of the annunciation. The arrangement of the pews as an expression of community and festivity: placed on three sides of the altar, it is possible to create a feeling of community even though there are few people attending the ceremony.


For an intimate prayer there is space in the back of the church, in a niche with candles and prayer-book.


This niche is part of the wooden installation. Like a furniture this installation comes off the existing walls and releases the windows in the back.


An important part of the design was the contrast in terms of color of bottom and top of the room. Understandable as grounding and spiritualisation, a dark and intimate shell in form of the wooden installation gets covered by an light-full and bright, exaggerated ceiling.  This effect refers to the proportions of the original, Romanesque space, which was more intimate.


The wooden installation left and right of the entrance is a simple and robust joinery, which includes the maximum of the minimal space provided. On the one side you can find the registry, where the priest can change clothes and prepare the divine service. On the other side there is space for ceremonial items, such as paraments, candles etc. The staircase to the gallery and the toilet are hidden behind the installation.


The clarity of the hall is not only emerging of the Simplicity of form but also from the choice of materials. Orientation and concentration are raised by less and clearly functional dedicated materials. The walls plastered and painted, the floor in natural stone. Every furniture like communion table, ambo, pews and installation are made in solid wood, following the existing organ. The wooden surfaces are protected by stain and oil.


The aim of our project was to create a place where services are glady celebrated. The space should be perceived as one harmonious, functional unity. We wanted to restore the church´s dignity.

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