COLOGNE—Bombings destroyed St. Columba’s Church during World War II, but the Gothic style church has been revitalized as it is now sheathed by- and even incorporated into- a stunning New Brutalist-style brick building, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, and home to the Kolumba Museum, ArchDaily writes.
[The construction] was a response to a competition that aimed to protect the remains of the Gothic work and create a space to house the art collection of the archbishopric of Cologne. In his winning design, Zumthor fused the existing ruins with modern architecture ideal for religious art in an elegant and minimalist way.
DesignBoom reports Zumthor clad his structure with a perforated greyish-white brick façade in order to embrace and unite the site’s historic elements. The gaps in the brick filter in air and dance light upon the housed subterranean ruins yielding an unexpected lightness and celestial effect to the hardy building. Limestone, terrazzo and steel are also used to complement the existing ruins.
Zumthor’s design adopts the outline of the former church building, and was conceived as a continuation of what was previously on the plot. Intended to be a place of reflection, a secluded garden amid the stone ruins is found at the rear of the site, appearing as a dense archaeological landscape.
Construction of Zumthor’s building took four years to complete. Copenhagen-based photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj‘s photographs celebrate the building’s tenth anniversary.
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