Martin Luther Church

Martin Luther Church, Vienna, Austria, Coop Himmelb(l)au
Project year : 2011
Architect(s) :
Address : Alte Poststraße 28, HAINBURG AN DER DONAU, Austria
Latitude/Longitude : 48.146589,16.943038

Photographs :

Client : Association „Freunde der Evangelischen Kirche in Hainburg/Donau”, Austria
User : Evangelische Pfarrgemeinde A.B. Bruck a.d. Leitha – Hainburg/Donau, Austria
Planning : COOP HIMMELB(L)AU – Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Design Principal : Wolf D. Prix
Design Architect : Sophie-Charlotte Grell
Project Architect : Martin Mostböck
Project Team : Steven Baites, Daniel Bolojan, Victoria Coaloa, Jörg Hugo, Martin Jelinek, Volker Kilian, Martin Neumann
Structural engineering : Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Construction survey : Spirk & Partner ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Main works / finishing : Markus Haderer Baubetrieb Ges.m.b.H, Hainburg/Donau, Austria
Steel construction (roof / tower) : OSTSEESTAAL GmbH, Stralsund, Germany
Steel construction (façade) : Metallbau Eybel, Wolfsthal, Austria
Fibre cement cladding : Eternit-Werke Ludwig Hatschek AG, Vöcklabruck, Austria
SFK GmbH, Kirchham, Austria
Altar : Idee & Design, Stainz, Austria
Seating : Braun Lockenhaus, Lockenhaus, Austria
Site area : 420 m², Sanctuary for 50 people, community space und ancillary rooms
Total gross floor area : 289 m²
Height (slab building / community space) : 3,5 m
Height sanctuary : 6 m
Height roof : 10 m
Height bell tower : 20 m
Length : 25 m
Width : 10-17 m

Text description provided by the architects. The protestant church is consisted of four elements that are main for building: a sanctuary, a community hall, a sacristy, and a sculptural bell tower. The shape of the building was derived by Coop Himmelb(l)au from a huge “table”, with its entire roof construction resting on the legs of the “table” that are four steel columns.

The roof with its striking three skylights is a key element of this building. The exterior skin is made of 8 mm thick three-dimensionally curved steel plates welded on a frame construction. The roof elements were constructed and manufactured with shipbuilding technologies. One important role model was Le Corbusier, for his references to shipbuilding, but also because of his La Tourette monastery.

The 20 meter high sculptural bell tower at the forecourt is a vertical self-supporting steel structure and completes the building ensemble as highly visible landmark.

The project plays with light and transparency in a special way. The light comes from above: three large winding openings in the roof guide it into the interior. The church interior itself is not only a place of mysticism and quietude but also an open space for the community.

The sanctuary gives access to the glass-covered children’s corner, illuminated by daylight, which accommodates 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. A folded glass façade on the opposite side opens the space towards the street.

Both main spaces are flanked by a longitudinal slab building along a small side alley that 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.

Contributed by Coop Himmelb(l)au