“In order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction.”
Bruder Klaus Field Chapel all began as a sketch, eventually evolving to become a very elegant yet basic landmark in Germany’s natural landscape. The design was constructed by local farmers who wanted to honor their patron saint, Bruder Klaus of the 15th century.
Arguably the most interesting aspects of the chapel are found in the methods of construction, beginning with a wigwam made of 112 tree trunks. Upon completion of the frame, layers of concrete were poured and rammed atop the existing surface, each around 50cm thick. When the concrete of all 24 layers had set, the wooden frame was set on fire, leaving behind a hollowed blackened cavity and charred walls.
This quote from Peter Zumthor rings true in his design of Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, where a mystical and thought-proving interior is masked by a very rigid rectangular exterior.
“To me, buildings can have a beautiful silence that I associate with attributes such as composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well; a building that is being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just being.” — Peter Zumthor