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Catholic Church Oberrohrbach

PROJECT2004
COMPETITON2. PRIZE
CLIENTErzdiözese Wien

Oberrohrbach is a small town north of Vienna.
The region is affected by gentle hills of alpine and carpathian foreland and the Danube valley. The topos of the cultural landscape is that hilltops are occupied by important buildings like castles and churches.
Oberrohrbach is situated beneath a small hill where are two churches -
a baroque chapel and a catholic interim church between trees.
The Floriani-chapel is already used nowadays by the local firebrigade. The interim church has become too small and doesn´t fit any longer with the lithurgical demand. It should be adapted into a parish centre.
A new catholic church should be situated, generating a community centre with the existing buildings.

Our project for the new catholic church for Oberrohrbach follows the context of the topos. It is visible over the trees and a new landmark in the silhouette of the landscape.
Using the sacral image of a ship or a compass needle pointing traditionaly to the east the church is developed to rhombic shape.
This form and alignment mediates between the baroque chapel and the new parish centre in the existing interim church. The outdoor composition defines three different levels: one for the new chuch with the parish centre, creating to the south a terrace with view over the Danube valley to the Alps. One for the baroque chapel and one between, build by a retaining wall to the south with settles made of stone to linger and connecting the levels. Coming from the village the terraces are be entered at the "wedding staircase" or from the lane between the chapel and the new church.

The figure of the floor plan is based on the one side on urbanistic combination and at the other on lithurgical demand: mainly church itself is assembling of believers and further a building to meet for worship. In the iconography of sacral architecture churches and their space are taken as picture and symbol. The design for the new chuch shows the new lithurgical theory: equality of altar/eucharist and ambo/word. These main points of the church are set in zones of concentration, in the balance point of an equilateral triangle.
Both together they fill the centre of the church, build a rhomb, get in dialogue and the community assembles around.

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