A community returns home to a beautiful new church
I visited the newly built St. Trinitatis Catholic parish church in Leipzig in crisp January sunshine and found a project that is both aware of its roots and bold and confident in its outlook for the future.
The community of St.Trinitatis Church have returned to the city centre after a period of 70 years since bomb damage destroyed their original church. In the 1970s, a replacement church was built at the edges of the city but that never really felt like home. After persistent efforts to find a way back to their origins, the community now has a new church at the centre of the city that forms part of wider rebuilding programme to knit the centre back together.
By building the external walls in the striking red stone from the local region, new roots are established in a very contemporary looking church by architects Schulz and Schulz (view information on their site). When working in such an emotionally charged site where physical damage and relocation has occurred, it can be hard to strike the right chord in terms of identity. The decision here to use something as direct as the local stone is a positive statement that a literally solid and long lasting foundation is being established. The architects describe how the coursing of the stone is deliberately random, an intention that the many parts are acting as one: a symbol and embodiment of the community as a whole.
The main body of the church is linked to the community hall, cafe and offices by a central courtyard that neatly draws the public up and through it. The focal point of the bold sculptural form is the bell tower. The beautiful artwork both inside and out establishes an inclusive and forward-looking image for the church.
Pew restoration in the Weimar Herder Church combines historical craft skills with innovative thinking on heating.
Located in the centre of Weimar, home of the famous Cranach Triptych altarpiece paintings, the church community has recently undertaken a series of restoration projects. On visiting for a Christmas service on a chilly December morning we were delighted to find that the pews have an ingenious, yet simple, set of heaters cleverly fixed to the underside of them.
One school of thought for heating large volume spaces is that you bring the heat 'to-source' rather than heating the whole space; this particularly cost effective in places of worship which can be only occupied for a short duration in a typical week.