|Dominikus Böhm - Germany|
Church St. Joseph
Weisser Landstrasse, Cologne
1954 - 1956
In 1955, shortly before his death, Dominikus Böhm was commissioned with the design of his latest realized church. The completion of the building was supervised
by his son Gottfried Böhm. The cubic, tripartite structure of brick rises on an open square in the south of the Cologne suburb Rodenkirchen. The building consists of
a nave and two identical bulky towers. Unlike the traditional church, the two twin towers are not grouped into a double tower façade, but are positioned in
the longitudinal axis at the ends of the church. So that each of the towers marks the entrance respectively the choir. The monolithic towers rise on an almost square plan
and are perforated by small square openings only above the ridge line of the nave. The cubic massiveness of the towers is further emphasized by the low pyramidal roof.
The towers are set in a mathematical ratio (2: 1) to the transverse nave, in whose volume they are partially melted.
The lateral walls of the nave have no windows. Only on the gable walls, the nave is flanked by long, vertical windows with segment archs. This windows already indicate
a spatial conception which differs on the inside from the cubic character of the exterior. The interior seems to breathe, the longitudinal walls are slightly curved as they are made
as double shell constructions, the ceiling has a segment shape in accordance with the form of the mentioned windows. The presbytery, also with shallow segment shaped
conclusion is supported by massive freestanding tower supports of brick, which have a cross-section of 1 x 1 m. Upwardly the choir is shaft-like opened and receives its light
through the window grid in the upper third of the tower. Each of the 192 openings is decorated with the stylized head of a saint. According to the hierarchy of the church space,
the west tower is not of the same significance in the interior as is the choir tower. The upper part is not used for the illumination of the space, but as sound arcade.
The space below is divided into two parts and includes a porch on the west, while the eastern part is occupied by the organ loft.