Lorenz Architekten: St. Christophorus Church Centre, Basel - best architects 22

Lorenz Architekten

St. Christophorus Church Centre, Basel

best architects 22

public buildings


Basel, Switzerland


Lukas Schwabenbauer


St. Christopher Church Centre was planned to replace the church dating from 1936, which, with the two neighbouring buildings from 1955, was in need of renovation. The new building accommodates a chapel, a hall, clubrooms, kindergartens, apartments for the elderly and rental apartments. This diverse programme of functions brings a larger scale and higher density to the neighbourhood. The new city building block completes the perimeter, but recedes from the building line with the central part of the building, defining a wide forecourt and thus mediating between the public use on the ground floor, the new tram stop and the urban space. A bell tower accentuates the new building and demarcates the entrance of the chapel on the ground floor. The vertically articulated brick façade sets itself apart from the adjacent residential buildings and strikes a balance between secular residential and sacred church architecture. The concave façade motif with convex balconies creates an exciting interplay of light and shadow and gives the building its characteristic plasticity. The central element of the building is the lofty devotional room, which, together with the hall and foyer, represents the ideal ensemble of rooms that offer a wide variety of large and small public events. There are rental apartments in the outer areas of the building. Apartments for the elderly in the centre of the building are accessed through a pergola, which is a communal place that views onto the forecourt.