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Ravensburg House Of Catholic Church

The site gets its unique character from its position along the former city wall on the edge of the old town. Architecturally the area is defined by the closed, insular structure of the medieval core and the historic ensemble of the chapter house, rectory with courtyard, washhouse and old cemetery wall. Marienplatz square, and the Church of Our Lady facing onto it, is one of the area‘s special features. It is noteworthy for the gap in the city wall there and the resulting openness of the old town. The proposal adopts the typologies and elements already established in Ravensburg and it consciously seeks to continue building within the existing tradition. The new building buckles together the terraced houses along two neighbouring streets, finishes the urban structure in accordance with the perimeter block precedent seen throughout the old town, and creates a clearly defined boundary to the old town. Additive geometry is used in reference to the patchwork medieval layout (no buildings oriented lengthways along the street). The grammar of the old town is thereby respected, while giving the new building a unified overall appearance. The individual parts in this additive form are slightly offset in height and depth, serving to not only reduce the apparent length of the facade but also to reconcile the difference in building height on Vehrengasse and Herrenstraße. The composition subtly gestures towards the church and Marienplatz. The facing building uses the established theme of concave outer façades and creates an orthogonal focal point. The concave façade makes for an inviting and inclusive character. Turning the main frontage away from the street allows the church to keep its due prominence while also creating a strong corner.

Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Tobias Beyrer with Cukrowicz Landscapes, Winterthur
Client: Katholische Kirchengemeinde Liebfrauen Ravensburg
Competition 2013