Saturday, November 3, 2012

Precedent: two formworks, two atmospheres

Peter Zumthor's Bruder Klaus Chapel is widely known and revered as one of the world's greatest sacred spaces. It is a solid building made of a single mass of poured concrete. The walls are think and nothing happens in the poche space.
Its exterior and interior differ vastly due to wholly to the difference in formwork processes. The exterior, formed using the typical flat sheets of wood (possibly something else), produces a flat-faced, scaleless, monolith. The interior formwork was assembled using local birch trees aggregated in the shape of a tipi. Once the concrete was set, these birch trees were burned out. All these formwork-related design decisions resulted in an interior that is dark, anti-reflective, cavernous and textured.
This Klaus Chapel is a space that exists for the senses. The formwork itself is gone but its ghost remains in the void of interior and against the landscape.


  1. Are you interested in using material from Morningside park as your formwork?

  2. I actually hadn't thought of that specifically. Our current direction is to use the topography of Morningside Park in a kinetic way, designing a form that could roll down if given a push. We have been wanting to add materials to our form that could either strengthen it simply make them more interesting. We are considering these 'tiles' as art objects conceived as a whole yet separable and "snatch-able". People would be able to take them away with them (who is stopping them?) so using extra materials form the park would give it a geo-signature and also provide other properties.

    (Owen, Alissa, Jeff)