Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bruder Klaus Kapelle

The tiny hamlet of Wachendorf (which prior to 2008 didn't even have a shop or pub) has become one of the most popular villages in the Eifel and all because of a tiny, unspectacular looking building. Why? Because this building happens to be a chapel designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
Image credit seier+seier+seier on FlickrThe extraordinary Bruder Klaus Kapelle is made from more than one hundred tree trunks that were arranged like the ribs of a tee pee, covered with concrete, dried by fire, and removed, leaving their imprint. The chapel is open to the sky, and creates a profound sense of form, space, light, scale and texture.
As you approach the building you are totally unprepared for the impact of the interior. The outside looks like a hay stack from afar, and as you get closer it starts to look more and more like what it actually is - a stack of very unexciting concrete. But once you walk though the triangular door, you see what all the fuss is about. The walls rise upwards and inwards towards an open circle of sky and are punctured all around by pinpoints of light - little glass balls pushed into the concrete. The effect is breathtaking. You really are looking "towards the light" and at the same time your eyes are drawn to the walls which bear the imprint of the tree trunks used to create the chapel interior.
Image credit Claus Moser on Flickr
Here's a tip for a day-trip destination from Rhine-online - for the full story go to: