bayer | uhrig: Columbarium in St. Mary’s Church, Kaiserslautern  - best architects 23

bayer | uhrig

Columbarium in St. Mary’s Church, Kaiserslautern

best architects 23

interior work


Kaiserslautern, Germany


Michael Heinrich


Churches are special places where we can come to rest and renew our strength; they are identity-forming and have a social significance beyond their actual sacred function. The idea was to integrate a columbarium into the church and adapt the premises to this expanded use in the course of a renovation. Contrary to current trends, the church will not become a burial church but will continue to be used as a pastoral church. This extension of use succeeds in giving the rooms a new overall quality. The urn walls are arranged in the side aisles orthogonally to the outer walls. Ten small chapels have been created as a new structure that is respectfully integrated into the rhythm of the sacred setting. This results in intimate places that nevertheless relate to the larger space. In the course of the rededication of the corner chapels, the baptismal font as the entrance to the Christian community was relocated to the entry area. Where parish life and community celebrations take place, the pastoral church also welcomes the deceased into its midst. The pastoral and spatial concept reflects the fact that life and death are inextricably linked. The overarching theme for the urn walls is an abstract rosette. Colours are used with extreme restraint and are reserved for the historical elements. The result is a space of great clarity, peace, strength and warmth that carries us into the future.