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.