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New Apostolic Church, Vienna

COMPETITION:1st. PRIZE
CLIENT:NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH
ADRESS:HOCHSATZENGASSE 11, 1140 VIENNA

"...With their new building Veit Aschenbrenner reinterpret historical church architecture. Based on the classic westwerk and bell tower, a sloping block juts upward out of the façade. It also extends horizontally across the building, thus emphasizing the worship area with its 145 seats... The architects have only cut a few openings into the concrete monolith. The low entrance area, the ribbon windows to the rooms for instruction and administration, and the sunken glazed surface along one wall of the community room were resolute and reserved choices made by Veit Aschenbrenner. Sacredness, a sculptural approach, and the symbolism of light – despite its profoundly symbolic language this church has been discretely set in a residential neighborhood in Vienna."  Baunetz.de, Bedeutungsschwer in Leichtbeton, March 12, 2015.


"…Made of fair-faced concrete, the new building whose two street-side façades are entirely windowless looks surprisingly bright on the inside. Through a clever stacking of spaces the interior manages to appear much larger than it looks from the outside. If it’s Baroque opulence you want, you won’t find it here. It wouldn’t fit anyway, the spokesman of the New Apostolic Church says. “We orient ourselves on the primordial church, and the reticent appearance of the architecture corresponds with the Liturgy.” Maik Novotny, Standard, March 7, 2015.


"... By drawing the compact structure upward over the altar area, one alludes to a tower, making the building decipherable as a church. It is not until we enter the building that we realize this raised section stages a spectacular play of daylight within the sacred space – what at first glance from the street seemed such a hermetic structure is characterized by a highly ingenious choreography of openings. (...) Daylight virtually flows down the ten-meter high sloping front wall, through the skylight and into the space, where it forms an immaterial altarpiece. (...) The building also proves to be a useful community facility. Exchanging greetings before church service plays a very important role within the community, and the foyer offers a dignified setting for this. It is a communication space and at the same time a junction point for the many ancillary rooms: Upstairs an open corridor leads to the gallery, a children’s room overlooking the church space proper, and the instruction and administration spaces. Downstairs, half a story below grade an attractive multipurpose room with south-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows looks out on a ground-floor outdoor space thanks to the split-level sunken garden."  Franziska Leeb, Die Presse, February 7, 2015


"…As if cast in one piece: The floor is made of polished cement, thanks to insulated concrete it was possible to construct the building as if cast in one piece from a single material. “Concrete is actually cast stone,” the architects say. “The way the building looks outside is the same as it is inside.” Authentic through and through. Like the faith that this community proudly presents to the world. Many open corridors, in the best ‘raumplan’ style of Adolf Loos different levels split off from the foyer, creating not only varying room heights but also differing moods; a sophisticated lighting scheme and excellent acoustics give this modern sacred room a distinctive touch."  Isabella Marboe, Architektur Aktuell, January/ February 2015.

 

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