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When more than three-quarters of a city’s buildings are destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people are in need of a safe place to live, it’s hard to prioritise architecturally significant buildings. That was the situation in Cologne after World War II and meant that most of what was built in the 1950s came from the ‘ASAP’ school of architecture. Eventually the city was back on its feet, and architects were given the chance to build something that would really stand out – and they jumped at the opportunity.
Sauerbruch Hutton’s design for the Protestant Brückenschlag parish in Cologne created an innovative, modern place of worship, and features a small chapel and bell tower as well as the church itself. With a facade clad in diagonally laid timber planks, it blends in beautifully with the surrounding nature. Inside, the simple yet striking details include a coloured timber screen behind the altar, as well as unclad timber columns. It’s a very untraditional take on a traditional building.
Additional reporting by Cajsa Carlson