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Immanuel Church / Community Center

The new building of the Immanuel Church for the Brückenschlag community in Cologne by the architects Sauerbruch and Hutton was designed as a reinterpretation of a classical basilica. The high pentagonal zentral part of the building is contains the large sanctuary. The lower side wings are home to the sacristies and the community rooms. The spacious building has a complete wooden structure and the interior presents itself with a white waxed finish. The lighting design concept was based on the restraint to support the sanctuary with its gallery and screen behind the altar. The entire church is directly lit. Only the colorful relief of the organ which is defining the space and and the altar are illuminated with an indirect component. A customized minimalistic and unclad pendant luminaire was design in collaboration with the architects. This pendant is used in the entire building and gives a concentrated atmosphere in the otherwise dark spaces. The transformers were hidden behind inspection caps, therefore the openings in the wooden ceiling could be minimized and the luminaires could be suspended from delicate coax cables. This church is the last project with the usage of filament lamps entirely. Halogen lamps with a low light distribution to the rear were deployed. When dimmed they give warm, atmospherical light to the community center. This project was rewarded with the German Construction Prize in 2015. 


Museum / Culture




Cologne, Germany

architect / artist / designer

Barkow Leibinger Berlin 


Jan Blieske 

photo credits

Rainer Rehfeld

immanuel church /
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