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BUILDING
 
 
Martin Luther Kirche
Martin Luther Church
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DESIGNER
 
 
Coop Himmelb(l)au
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DESCRIPTION
 
Architectural Concept
Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin Luther Church HainburgIn less than a year a protestant church together with a sanctuary, a church hall and supplementary spaces was built in the centre of the Lower Austrian town Hainburg, at the site of a predecessor church that doesn’t exist anymore since the 17th century.

Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin Luther Church HainburgThe shape of the building is derived from that of a huge “table”, with its entire roof construction resting on the legs of the “table” – four steel columns. Another key element is the ceiling of the prayer room: its design language has been developed from the shape of the curved roof of a neighboring Romanesque ossuary – the geometry of this century-old building is translated into a form, in line with the times, via today’s digital instruments.

The play with light and transparency has a special place in this project. The light comes from above: three large winding openings in the roof guide it into the interior. The correlation of the number Three to the concept of Trinity in the Christian theology can be interpreted as a “deliberate coincidence”.

The church interior itself is not only a place of mysticism and quietude – as an antithesis of our rather fast and media-dominated times – but also an open space for the community.

The sanctuary gives access to the glass-covered children’s corner, illuminated by daylight, which accomodates also the baptistery. The actual community hall is situated behind it: folding doors on the entire length of the space between the two main chambers allow for combining them to one continuous spatial sequence. An folded glass façade on the opposite side opens the space towards the street.

A third building element, a longitudinal slab building along a small side alley, flanks both main spaces and comprises the sacristy, the pastor’s office, a small kitchen and other ancillary rooms. A handicapped accessible ramp between the three building components accesses the church garden on higher ground.

The sculptural bell tower at the forecourt constitutes the fourth element of the building ensemble.

Like other projects of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU the roof elements of the church building were assembled in a shipyard. The implementation of the intricate geometries required specific technologies of metal-processing and manufacturing only available in shipbuilding industry. The reference to shipbuilding is at the same time also reminiscent of Le Corbusier who served as an important role model, not least because of his La Tourette monastery.
Technical Description
Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin Luther Church HainburgDue to its shape with three skylights the roof of the Martin Luther Church in Hainburg was designed as a self-supporting steel construction with a stucco ceiling. The structure was assembled in a wharf at the Baltic Sea. The exterior skin is made of 8 mm thick three-dimensionally curved steel plates welded on a frame construction. In turn, this structure of steel plates and frame sits on a girder grid. The compound of grid, frame and steel skin transfers the total load of the roof (23 tons) on four steel columns which are based on the solid concrete walls of the prayer room.

Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin Luther Church HainburgThe roof construction was delivered in four separate parts to Hainburg, assembled and welded on site. There, the coating of the whole structure was finished and mounted with a crane in the designated position on the shell construction of the prayer room.

On the interior ceiling the suspended frame structure was covered in several layers of steel fabric and rush matting as carrier layer for the cladding of the stucco ceiling, whose geometry follows the three-dimensionally curved shape of the roof with the skylights.

The free-form bell tower of the Martin Luther Church was also manufactured, by means of shipbuilding technology, as a vertical self-supporting steel structure with wall thickness between 8 and 16 millimeter, only braced by horizontal frames. The 20 meter high tower weighing 8 tons is welded rigidly to a steel element encased in the concrete foundations.
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
Austria [Österreich]
State
Lower Austria [Nieder-Österreich]
District
Bruck an der Leitha
Town
Hainburg an der Donau
Address
Alte Poststrasse, 28 (Leyrer Gasse)
 
 
Website
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MAP
 
 

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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Religious buildings
Churches and places of worship
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Religious buildings
Parochial centres
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2008    
Realisation
2010 - 2011
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AWARDS
 
2012
Stahl-Innovationspreis
Bauteil und Systeme aus Stahl für das Bauen [Component and systems made of steel for building]
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Douglas Murphy, "Martin Luther Church. Coop Himmelb(l)au", Icon 102, december 2011, p. 44
Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin-Luther-Kirche Hainburg Austria Architektur AktuellMatthias Boeckl, "Coop Himmelb(l)au. Martin-Luther-Kirche, Hainburg, Niederösterreich. Form und Symbol / Martin Luther Church, Hainburg, Lower Austria – Form and symbol", Architektur Aktuell 381, dezember/december 2011 [Sacred Space. Geist & Raum], pp. 42-53
"Martin Luther Church, Hainburg, Austria. Coop Himmelb(l)au", GA Document 113, july 2010 [International 2010], pp. 34-37
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CLIENT
 
 
Verein „Freunde der Evangelischen Kirche in Hainburg/ Donau”
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
site sq.m. 420
gross floor sq.m. 289
Capacity
50 peoples
Height
community space ml 3.5
sanctuary m. 6
roof m. 10
bell tower m. 20
Lenght
m. 25
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Bollinger Grohmann Schneider
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STAFF
 
Project
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Principal-in-charge
Wolf D. Prix
Project architect
Martin Mostböck
Design architects
Sophie-Charlotte Grell
Design team
Steven Baites, Daniel Bolojan, Victoria Coaloa, Volker Kilian, 
Martin Neumann, Martin Jelinek
Structural consultant
Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Quantity surveyor
Spirk & Partner ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Duccio Malagamba
Text edited by Coop Himmelb(l)au
Drawings © Coop Himmelb(l)au
Courtesy by Coop Himmelb(l)au
Coop Himmelb(l)au Martin Luther Church Hainburg



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