Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deutsche Romanische Kirchen

I like church architecture. While I admire the technical daring and spectacle of Gothic architecture, I prefer Romanesque churches. And among the churches built in the Romanesque manner, I like the German ones best.

One of German Romanesque's strong points is its design flexibility: that is, its visual vocabulary and structural system allow each church to be very different from the others while recognizably belonging to the same family. If Gothic churches tend to all be sisters, the German Romanesque family would include aunts and nieces. The German churches may have a front main entry, side main entries, or main entries at both ends along with altars at both ends. There may any number of towers in an assortment of shapes and sizes. Within the vocabulary almost anything goes. And if they don't compare well against Gothic's glamor, they more than compensate by their charm and individuality.

A very few of my favorites:

Maria Laach Abbey, so small it needs 2 photos.



Speyer (the town is named after the spires)

Tournai, Belgium (it's not in Germany)

Late in the last century our architectural office (Greene & Associates) designed a 2400-seat Baptist church. For assorted reasons the project borrowed heavily from German Romanesque sources, including the above examples. A few drawings follow.

East Elevation

                      Ground Floor Plan
 South Elevation

A recent photo of the church taken by local photographer Jerry Spain

We do a lot of churches, but rarely have a budget and a client that allows for this kind of project.


B. said...

Do not know if you know this site.
If not, I think you'll like it.

kkollwitz said...

Ha! I do know that site! I visited it while I was doing my church-image roundup, it's a great resource.

Magister Christianus said...

I especially like the one in Tournai for the way it dominates the scene. Nothing should be more significant in a town than both a church building and the Church.

I love what you designed for the Baptists!

Dorian Speed said...

Beautiful! I would love to see more photos and drawings of your work.

I guess you know Duncan Stroik, huh? All you architects hang out together, right?

kkollwitz said...

"I guess you know Duncan Stroik, huh? All you architects hang out together, right?"

All the time.

That reminds me of a joke of sorts:

When doctors get together they talk about money & sports.

When lawyers get together they talk about money & sports.

When architects get together they talk about architecture.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

The type of client you got are the dream clients because you have the budget to do the project justice.