Brückner & Brückner Architekten
Waldnaab Chapel | New wayside chapel near the Waldnaab River
best architects 24
Marie Luisa Jünger
Nearly 900 years ago, Cistercian monks began their long-term development of the Stiftland area. The produce they cultivated became known far beyond the region. The monks’ sacred duties were paired with their economic activity. With soils that absorbed the waters of the Waldnaab River, the local area was destined for pond farming. This pisciculture is practised even today, complemented by extensive ecological efforts aimed at nature conservation. For a century, trains traversed the Waldnaab region via the railway across the nearby dam. In recent years, the dam has served hikers and cyclists, today extending not only to the Himmelsleiter Observation Tower and Heusterz Bridge but also to a wayside chapel. This sacred space represents the final leg of a triad: Climb up – Cross over – Contemplate. Kaolin sand from the pond bottom, the basic element for the porcelain industry that once thrived here, was added to the composite materials making up the concrete. It lends a gleaming, brightly hued appearance to the stony foundation. Coniferous wood beams stretch heavenward: a total of 325 cross-sectional square segments, each 25 cm in length. This natural joining of the kaolin from below to the coniferous shafts above becomes the symbol of the chapel’s architectural and atmospheric composition. Here the two worlds meet, intertwine and fuse to form a new entity. The materials are predefined by the conifers and kaolin sand found in the immediate surroundings.