In an extremely sensitive town planning situation, the new church, with its sculptural form, works like a keystone to act as a connecting interface between green landscape and town. In doing so, the design picks up on the different relationships between countryside and town and fuses these together on the church square, which presents itself from the street as an inviting retreat for the public.
Bell tower and rectory are positioned lower and form the border of the church square, thereby composing the frame for the church. A massive foundation masoned from molasse conglomerate – a typical conglomerate gravel of Upper Bavaria – constitutes the church’s base, which appears to grow out of the ground. Above this, as an impressive and easily identifiable landmark of the new parish church, soars the white ceramic-tiled roof, unfolding with sculptural energy. The contrast between the ethereal white crown and the stone foundation represents a vision of heaven and earth, of transcendance and immanence, and it is in this field of tension that the church space is anchored. The church building opens to rectory and church square.
Entering the church space with its slight slope towards the altar, after a lower entry area, a room of light opens up, Baroque-like, urging one’s view heavenward. This, in construction as well as symbolically, is composed of a spatial cross that manifests itself as a powerful image in the shape of the ceiling’s spacial folding. As an analogy to the Holy Trinity, three large skylights respectively illuminate various liturgical locations and activities.
The especially sculptured execution of the ceramic tiles is coordinated with the light and space concept of the church room and creates with its strongly differentiated geometry manifold light refraction. Playing with the light in this way, the roof landscape becomes the crystal ‘city crown’ of the town of Poing.
These ceramic pieces, manufactured by m&r Manufaktur GmbH, are produced in slip casting. Almost every step of this process is done by hand. The mass is produced according to a special process and adapted to the challenges of an external façade. It is poured into dry plaster moulds, which then extract the water from it. The mineral components of the slurry are deposited in the gypsum mould and finally compact and solidify. Once the desired material thickness has been achieved, the divisible plaster moulds are removed.
An uneven glaze, similar to an orange peel, was desired. To achieve this, the raw materials were mixed to create a rough surface. In addition, the glaze had to be hard enough so that the protective flow did not smooth the surface again. Each of the approximately 15,000 tiles was glazed by hand. The effect of irregularity was further enhanced. The ceramic tiles are resistant to weathering, corrosion, light, scratches and abrasion.
Catholic Church Foundation St. Michael
Wolfgang Amann, Tobias Jahn, Martina Frieling, Stefan Zöls, Benjamin Nejedly, Carlos Wilkening
Construction realization: Rudolf + Sohn Architekten
Ceramic Cladding: m&r Manufaktur GmbH
Landscape: Lohrer.hochrein landschaftsarchitekten
Structural planning: Haushofer ingenieure
Gebrüder-Asam-Str. 2, 85586, Poing, Germany