Public spaces, piazzas, streets, town centres, religious buildings
The benediction of the church ended the odyssey of the Leipzig parish community that has lasted over seventy years. Its permanent return to the centre of the city is manifested in the construction of the new Trinitatis church.
The new church is develop out of the organism of the surrounding city. It obtains its presence through its high church hall, church tower and inviting openness of the parish courtyard. In a prominent location across from the New Town Hall the Trinitatis church define a site that respectfully integrates into its surroundings and forms a clearly distinguishable edge along the city centre ring. The structure is now being put up with the ‚pouring‘ of the triangular plot of land and the concreting of the poles of the church hall and church tower on opposite sides. The parish courtyard was cut into the area between the two highpoints to create a new central meeting location. The silhouette of the new church marks the beginning of the further development of the underused neighbouring urban area.
St. Trinitatis is primarily characterised by light, space and material. With its interior height of over 14 metres, the church hall enables a transcendent spatial experience that is further intensified by the large skylight located in 22 metres high. Daylight of varying intensity falls from this along the rear wall of the altar in the church hall and defines the atmosphere of the hall. Another important element is the large ground-level church window (Falk Haberkorn) that produces communication between the community and the city as if through an interactive store window. It opens and delimits the church hall at the same time while serving as a targeted opening as an interface between the world of the profane and the realm of the sacred.
The church hall is situated crosswise and creates sufficient room for the arrangement of the community in an open surrounding area whose optical and scenographic centre is the chancel. Partitions separating the community were eliminated, additionally opening the chancel as a multidimensional space usable for various forms of liturgy. Merely a gentle slope surrounds the chancel and permitting optimal visual perspectives. Across from the large cross on the rear wall of the altar (Jorge Pardo) is a second cross carved into the large wall area above the gallery as a negative imprint that opens the church hall to the light of the setting sun in the west. The gallery offers room for the organ, the choir and additional pews to be set up here.
With its building envelope made of masoned Rochlitz porphyry, the church acknowledges its region (Old Town Hall in Leipzig) and tradition (Benedictine Priory Wechselburg/Saxony). The horizontal layering of the various heights firmly anchors the building with the plot of land and allows it to symbolically grow out of the ground. The projections and recesses in the layering convey the rich tradition of the regional architecture into an independent contemporary building of particular emotional value.
The principle of active self-sufficiency, which corresponds to a holistic attitude to the environment, forms the basis for the new build project. The usual standards for longevity as well as comfort were questioned throughout the planning process. The aim of the intensive scientific consideration was to provide an almost unlimited lifespan with minimal effort necessary for maintenance as one is familiar with from other historic church buildings.
CityNonnenmuehlgasse 2, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
ClientKatholische Propsteipfarrei St. Trinitatis Leipzig
Gross Floor Area (mq)5500
ArchitectsSchulz und Schulz, Ansgar und Benedikt Schulz
Design teamChristian Wischalla, Bodo Roßberg, Lothar Wolter, Matthias Hönig, Karsten Liebner, Peter Gaffron, Jana Gallitschke, Sandra Nestroi, Florian Heiland, Stefan Weiske, René Büttner, Thomas Gohr
ConsultantsJorge Pardo (Liturgical furnishings), Falk Haberkorn (Church Window), Seeberger Friedl (Structural design), Peter Andres Lichtplanung (Lighting design), Müller-BBM (Acoustics), ee concept
Photo CreditsSimon Menges, Stefan Müller
Schulz und Schulz is led by the brothers Ansgar and Benedikt Schulz. Since its founding in 1992 the office located in Leipzig has been working at a national and international level for public clients with an emphasis on building for the community. Custom made buildings that have been distinguished as intelligent and sustainable solutions in over 150 competitions and architecture prizes are generated through an intensive dialogue with the client. Innovative and well published buildings are developed through consistent analytical research. These buildings fit naturally into the context, have a distinctive presence and generate engaging spaces for working and living. The reference projects of the office are mostly public buildings such as schools, kindergartens, sports halls, research institutes, laboratories, offices and administrative buildings as well as exhibition spaces and cultural buildings.