Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Haunting chapel with a strange triangular door

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor:
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 church 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.
About 18 years ago, the German farmer Hermann-Josef Scheidtweiler wrote to the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Scheidtweiler was no architecture fanatic, just an elderly Roman Catholic who wanted a small chapel on his land, to give thanks for the long and happy life his wife Trude had led.  
Zumthor, who went on to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2009, is known for turning down lucrative projects, yet accepted this strange commission for a nominal fee, partly because the saint the Scheidtweilers wanted to dedicate the building to had been one of his own mother's favourites. Niklaus von Flüe, also known as Brother Klaus, was a 15th century Swiss agriculturalist turned Christian mystic, popular among the German rural community, and also the patron saint of Switzerland. Indeed, this austere Christian figure, who was said to have survived for 19 years on no other form of sustenance than the Eucharist