On the outskirts of the city of Cologne, this parish center consists of a church, a private chapel, and a columbarium arranged around a small square under the shade of large trees planted in a semicircle. A small sculptural bell tower marks access into the religious premises from the street, bringing the visitor into the square, which can be described as a botanical foyer framing the ascetic entrance to the church: a serene prismatic volume clad – like the rest of the buildings comprising the complex – in timber planks arranged in diagonal patterns.
A narthex leads to the nave of the church, which is divided into three parts, echoing the tripartite floor plan scheme of old basilicas, although in this case the two lateral volumes are flexible spaces containing the sacristy, some community rooms, a music room, and a kitchen. The 17-meter-long, 11-meter-wide, 11-meter-high central nave is a diaphanous hall characterized by a continuous frame of wooden ribs that form a visual rhythmic sequence. The most important part of the project is of course the altar, a simple plinth whose typically Lutheran bareness has been nuanced only by the colors of the interior gable end. This minimalist altarpiece of sorts is accompanied by natural light streaming in through a skylight and bathing the altar with an ascetic yet poetic halo.
Iglesia y centro parroquial Imanuel, Colonia Immanuel Church and Parish Center, Cologne (Germany).
Ev. Brückenschlag-Gemeinde Köln-Flittard / Stammheim.
Volker Langenbach (gestión poject management); Heger Partner (paisajismo landscaping); Horz + Ladewig (estructuras structures); Studio Dinnebier (iluminación lighting); HDH (instalaciones installations).
Annette Kisling, Margot Gottschling.