AV1 Architekten GmbH
Neubau Pfarrheim und Mensa St. Stephan in Mainz
best architects 13
The location of the site, which directly abuts the cloisters of St. Stephen’s, is the key defining factor for the spatial qualities and atmosphere of the setting. The overall objective of the design was to create a parish hall whose scale would be commensurate with the historic structures here while also offering unique spatial experiences inside. The house as a place of residence and learning, as a sequence of outdoor and indoor spaces that can be walked through and instantly comprehended, was the concept for the project. A building with a double-pitch roof like the one of the former sacristy houses the rooms for use by the parish. A second building holds upper secondary school classrooms and a multipurpose dining hall. Both uses are readily visible, enabling the pupils and members of the parish to identify with the building designed for them. A light joint between the new buildings and the historic outer wall of the cloisters at once divides and connects old and new. The interim space, which functions as foyer and access area, promotes communication with a view out into the open and lets users experience the special quality of the interiors on all levels.