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MARIA-

MAGDALENA

CHURCH

‘DOPPELKIRCHE’

The 'Ecumenical Doppelkirche' uniquly combines both Catholic and Protestent churches in one building, forming a hub at the centre of the new district of Rieselfeld, west of Freiburg.

Key features of the design are an inclined series of walls which are folded at irregular intervals, and a space unifying the two churches in a similarly irregular floor plan.

The central hall of the triple nave structure can be opened onto both church areas by retracting their concrete walls, thereby fusing the two church sections to form a single space.

Nathan was a member of the design team at  Kister Scheithauer Gross in Cologne, led by Susanna Gross. The team developed the competition winning design proposal, and explored the concept with numerous models and sketch studies.

Inspiration was partially inspired by a number of sources, including: the work of Scottish Architects; Gillespie Kidd & Coia at St Birdes; ‘Broch's’ (Iron Age fortified tower house) which express solidity and use diaphragm walls to create effects of light and shadow; and examples of churches throughout the ages which have used the duality of light and dark to express religious meaning.