Berlin Bet- und Lehrhaus

international competition during internship in Wandel-Hoefer-Lorch Architekten, 2012,  3.Prize


In the urban context, the construction of a house of worship for three religions is primarily a question of the value of a sacred building in a largely secular society, overlaid by the question of how to find a narrative figure independent of size and meaning beyond the functional building for this prominent task.In pristinum" (or in the old form) is not possible, since the existing substructure buildings of the church's predecessors cannot be transferred to the new triad. Nevertheless, the excavations on the ground floor are a visible part of the communal space and open space, like a layer of time on which the new house is independently built.

The task of the prayer and teaching house is to find no less than a balance between a prototype and a new typology: to unite the three essential building tasks of Eglesia, Synagoga and Mosque while maintaining their own logic and independence and making them legible. The conscious renunciation of superficial symbolism in favour of a readable overall form of the triad as a structural framework. This is the guiding theme for the interior and exterior. It seems too superficial to strive for the common Abrahamic roots of the three religions, but the expression that is sought in form and materiality is not a time-bound supertemporal. When one rises from the level of the ground floor with the common and serving uses, a common narthex opens up for mosque, synagogue and church. The ground plan of the Triassic shows the orientations of the east, the orientation towards Jerusalem and the orientation towards Mecca.


Composite masonry in normal format with monolithic rammed concrete casting (Lekabeton) in the thickness of approx. 1 m enables a meaningful construction of the polygonal wall, base and roof structure in the structural connection with the ceilings absorbing the tension. The materiality of the peat fire brick, which is walled up with the rough reverse side made visible, becomes visible both inside and outside. The necessary building physics requirements are guaranteed by the massiveness and thickness of the construction, especially as a church is a partially tempered building. 

In the logic of the building, a generous roof forms the central entrance for the new gate and the visitors. The network and the rootedness (rhizome) become a metaphor for the formal and functional theme of the façade and supporting structure as a complement to the park concept.

The building, which floats above the landscape, is constructed as a spatial frame construction in steel-concrete interlocking construction according to the Vierendeel principle. The body consists of "megapods", spatial cores for horizontal and vertical load transfer to the foundation. The roof construction above the gate is designed as a spatial rhizome structure. (Vierendeel principle) The energy roof above is designed as a translucent glass structure.

urban architecture mixed-use development mutualism hybrid space research

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