john pawson constructs wooden chapel in germany out of 61 douglas fir logs
 

john pawson constructs wooden chapel in germany out of 61 douglas fir logs

john pawson has constructed a wooden chapel in southern germany using 61 douglas fir logs. located on the outskirts of unterliezheim, a bavarian village, the structure is intended to be encountered as a found object — rather than as a conventional work of architecture. ‘the architecture is framed as the simplest of gestures,’ explains pawson. ‘from certain perspectives its mass appears as a pile of logs stacked up to dry; from others the considered placement of the elements on a concrete plinth creates a more formal impression of a piece of sculpture emerging from the forest.’

john pawson wooden chapel
the wooden chapel has been constructed using 61 douglas fir logs
image by eckhart matthäus © siegfried and elfriede denzel foundation (also main image)

 

 

the chapel’s logs were carefully sourced and collected by wooden flooring company dinesen, who worked closely with six local forest owners. john pawson collaborated with dinesen to explore the material’s qualities and characteristics. the douglas fir lends the interior a warm and tactile quality, while the chapel’s robust and raw external appearance will continue to evolve and weather over time, becoming part of the forest it inhabits.

john pawson wooden chapel
the structure includes only one small window
image by felix friedmann

 

 

visitors enter the chapel through a narrow opening, that leads into a deliberately dark room measuring seven meters in height and nine meters in length. the dimness of the interior focuses attention on a cross-shaped opening at one end of the volume. running along one of the walls, a bench offers views out of a small window that in turn frames the rural landscape. overhead, a narrow beam of light enters through a small aperture near roof level.

john pawson wooden chapel
the deliberately dark room measures seven meters in height and nine meters in length
image by felix friedmann

 

 

the project has been commissioned by the siegfried and elfriede denzel foundation, an organization building a total of seven such structures along the region’s new cycle paths. ‘for me a special commission is one that brings the chance truly to test the thinking, in terms of space and materials, in the purest and most intense ways,’ pawson continues. ‘I felt sure when I first received the invitation to design a chapel on the edge of the forest that here was such a project and so it has proved to be.’

john pawson wooden chapel
the interior focuses attention on a cross-shaped opening
image by felix friedmann

john pawson wooden chapel
the project is located on the outskirts of unterliezheim, a bavarian village
image courtesy of dinesen

john pawson wooden chapel
the chapel’s robust and raw external appearance will continue to evolve over time
image by felix friedmann

john pawson wooden chapel
the logs used were sourced and collected by wooden flooring company dinesen
image courtesy of dinesen

 

 

project info:

 

name: wooden chapel
location: unterliezheim, germany
date: 2017 – 2018
john pawson project team: jan hobel, eleni koryzi, max gleeson
in collaboration with: the siegfried and elfriede denzel foundation, dinesen, gumpp & maier

  • Solitude, contemplation, and peace, come to mind when I encountered this structure. It represents a true labor of love. Thank you for sharing the completion of your vision in nature.

    Janet S. Lee
  • This chapel is sophisticated in its simplicity. Inside, no distraction to establish conscious contact with a Higher Power of one’s understanding, heavenly scent eminating from the fir logs might help to experience a special kind of peace and serenity. The cut out cross – a reminder to find what many are looking for……..

    marga Bushara

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,374 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine