Religieuze gebouwen

Kapel Sohn Benedigt
Sumtvitg - Graubunden CH
1985 - 1988
Architect: Peter Zumthor (and Annalisa Zumthor-Cuorad) - Haldenstein CH

A cylinder that turns into an oval and then into a keel: the geometry of this church, however definite, is also dynamic and elusive to the eye, all this exacerbated by the implantation of the building on a steep slope. The form keeps on rebelling against any final definition as the appendage of the entrance is added seamlessly to the main body of the building, adding concavity to the convexity of the overall form.
Stepping inside the issue of form becomes clear; you feel the reassurance of being in a church, the axiality of the plan, the enclosing curve behind the altar, the height of the space enhanced by the series of pillars and the light coming from above, penetrating through a continuous band of windows that separate the ceiling from the wall, isolating it and revealing the geometry and the focal point of the space which is drawn by the beams that support the roof.
The care for the quality of detailing is sustained even in those places where the eye is not supposed to observe (take a look behind the concrete stairs of the entrance). The sensuality extracted from the materials is a matter for many more lines, so as Zumthor has repeatedly stated we shouldn't talk more about the building, the building is there, standing... go and experience it yourself.
[tekst - foto's Marcel Erminy]

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