Posts Tagged ‘Church’

Euro-Continental Pro America Church “Paul Gerhardt”

May 23, 2016
Kurt Hatlauf Gelsenkirchen Ückendorf Paul Gerhardt with 1903 Cadillac Runabout. This drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama and the Pro America Society

Paul Gerhardt Church Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf with 1903 Cadillac Model A Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

Behold here a fine example of evangelical church design in the vein of tasteful international modernism, a sight, not altogether typical, but not unusual either in a time when there was still a lively interest in all church things, yet the decline of church business was already clearly visible on the horizon of time as men know it (not geological time). Witness the gleam of the main building’s big glass front – a huge abstract dyptich of biblical proportions – which is clearly an early Euro-continental reference to the big coloured front face tradition of modern American churches. This church, built many decades ago, at some not exactly verifiable point in the 1960s, still stands, yet is robbed of its dominant feature; the space around it. Today, it is sadly hidden behind parked cars and fences, and swallowed up by attached public service facilities: an old people’s home, a kindergarten.

Note how the nave is separated from the church tower in this design. A separation of things usually compacted into one edifice might be due to conscious conceptual considerations, or simply a sign of the times. What this separation signifies is the American-Fordian thought and practice pattern of division of labour – the tower; the reaching out facility, both reaching out for the congregation, reaching out for god (also a structure akin to a giant billboard/beacon with built in audio component) – the congregation and worship hall a place of production, production of faith, the plant proper.

A note of significance in consideration of this aspect of division: the church was designed not by a star of modern church building, but a lesser architect by the name of Kurt Hatlauf, who also designed several commercial buildings in and around Gelsenkirchen, and for some time served as the manager of the local football club of national fame, a post which surely earned him substantial recognition and probably was deemed the more salient factor of his career. So obviously a figure whose feet were planted squarely, but separately, one in the world of commerce, the other in a world of spiritual values (achievement/ fame, worship/faith). According to oral history, Kurt Hatlauf liked driving around in big American cars, which helps in reconstructing the motivational background for this attempt at an American style church (unable yet to hide its European origins), the Americanism further underlined here by the inclusion of a giant size Kachina doll sculpture.This rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the IPA Society

Cologne St. John Baptist with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

October 11, 2015
St. John Baptist Church (Cologne) by Karl Band, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

Karl Band, Cologne St. John Baptist, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

This is a beautiful example of the art of repair and rebuilding, as practised widely in the middle of the former century, in this undisclosed place, which met with generous structural destruction in the second half of the Second Great War, and thus had a chance to develop a unique style of modernity in rebuilding, a style which flourished for only a little more than one decade, only to be replaced by a still unique, but aesthetically rather unsatisfactory industrialized construction process, using holistically questionable materials like Ytong, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), calcium silicate units, and mineral insulation board.

In this short blessed phase before the chemical industrial complex got on its feet again and took over the construction market, brick was the preferred building material; often recycled from the rubble which was lying around in great quantities to be collected and reused or heaped wholesale into artificial hills. Concrete, if it was used, remained mostly unadorned and unhidden, its surface showing the marks of the cast in which it was poured, a practice which developed, outside of its niche as a method of artistic repair for churches and damaged art museums, into a fashion, an alternative International Style utilizing less glass and steel, more brick and concrete, mostly employed in the construction of publically funded municipal buildings, police stations, universities, or social housing projects. This style, though, did not really take hold here, in this undisclosed place, but abroad, were minds were more open, less  numbed.

This church, first recorded in the year 1090, suffered extensive damage during the war, and then became what was locally praised a jewel of modern reconstruction, a reconstruction which was realized by the architect/builder Karl Band, who could be considered the North Rhine Westphalian version of the Bavarian Hans Döllgast.

This church now serves as a combined worship and convention center for the CRUX youth movement, which aims to spiritually cleanse and refresh the world though collective missionary itineracy.

This rendering of that church is embellished with an imaginary natural scenery in the background, a slightly enlarged vintage motorcar, and the stylized depiction of a floating device housing a solar propulsion motor. Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society

The Sirian Experiment

March 25, 2015
 Pauluskirche, Schwenningen (1910), Architekt Martin Elsässer, with eearly BMW Motorbike, Drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama

St. Paul’s Church, Schwenningen, with early BMW Motorbike (42×29,7cm, pencil and coloured pencil on paper, 2015)

The image above depicts a worship centre of the heliocentric kind, devoted to adoring the heavens and everything above. An art work was commissioned to make a visual statement about the function of the building. The artist decided to create a holographic projection of unclear direction—a wavelike pattern is discernible, one assumes that there is some kind of dynamic involved, but it is not clear whether the waves are undulating in a downward direction, sent from some heavenly entity, or whether they are going up, towards said entity. Also, the waves are banded in a multicoloured fashion, but clearly not following the known order of wavelengths in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. The colours in which they present themselves (or, are presented) seem to follow an unfathomable (artistic?) taste pattern, which however might hypothetically be based on some scientific principle on the level of quantum mechanics. (Theologians across the world are very enamored with quantum theory, as quanta are known to behave erratically, contrary, obstinate, and wayward, when observed by a merely human observer. They do that on a basis of knowing things before they occur, communicating (?) with each other on a pre-emptive timeline, in short, displaying many characteristics of Godly perfection. Thus, in an ontogenetic system of proof, they are showing exactly that which God must possess, which shows that he, she, it, must exist.)

As an afterthought, the artist added a floating three-dimensional optical illusion to remind human observers of the futility of observation, of the necessity to stop observing and start worshipping. The progressive parson to whom this church was assigned parks his vintage BMW motorbike in front of the church to remind his parish of the parallel nature of worldliness and spirituality, the necessity to practice parallel thinking.

* * *

“I remember […] reading an agreeable tale about a species of highly intelligent giraffes who travelled by spaceship from their solar system to ours, to ask if our sun was behaving cruelly to us, as theirs had recently taken to doing to them.”
(Doris Lessing)

“Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.” 
(Pierre-Simon Laplace)

Illusrative sketch and explanatory note © 2017-2021 by Torsten Slama, Critical Heliocentrics Society

City Church “Böblingen”

May 22, 2012
A city church for medium sized towns located beyond metropolitan regions in Europe

City Church “Böblingen”, 297x420mm, pencil, coloured pencil, gold leaf

Concept sketch for a city church. Spiritual energy levels in Central European cities and municipalities are in rapid decline. This development is not limited to European soil, but a worldwide problem. Decline in spiritual energy levels can be easily linked to the decline of criminal energy levels. Smoking bans, optimized street illumination schemes, and safety measures of all kinds make the reliance on spiritual energy to prevent hazardous accidents superfluous.

Certain measures can be taken to raise spiritual energy levels. Worship centres afford an opportunity to practice humility and are therefore the means of choice to raise spiritual energy levels.

This design is especially suited for medium-sized towns located beyond metropolitan regions in Europe. The architecture is unobtrusive, with a light touch of Wilhelmian moodiness. The building has a compact form factor, can easily be prefabricated in great quantities from lightweight plastics (e.g. NALDENE™ by Thermo Fisher Scientific) and anchored where needed. Crystal spawning rocks scattered in the area create an esoteric mood, openness for revelations. Floating above is a cheap, nuclear powered energizer unit in the process of charging a small space crystal.© 2023 by Herma Ecdysone, Torsten Slama, Manfred Gorre, International Publications World Wide