Spec­tac­u­lar new church made of wood

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

A SPEC­TAC­U­LAR wooden church is un­der con­struc­tion in Holzkirchen near Mu­nich and its ar­chi­tect Eber­hard Wim­mer says wood from sus­tain­able forestry is ab­so­lutely cli­mate-friendly— and tim­ber con­struc­tion is in vogue.

The con­i­cal de­sign of the St Joseph Church (which will be com­pleted next win­ter) opens up spec­tac­u­lar per­spec­tives.

Wim­mer ex­plained that con­crete and steel were un­suit­able for sev­eral rea­sons. “The pil­lar-free, con­i­cal room shell cov­er­ing a floor space of around 850 square me­tres could be re­al­ized at lower costs by means of a tim­ber con­struc­tion. The ex­pres­sive ma­te­ri­al­ity, the im­me­di­ate ac­cep­tance and the feel­ing of se­cu­rity con­veyed by wooden struc­tures were also de­ci­sive fac­tors.

“In ad­di­tion, wooden struc­tures with tri­an­gu­lar spa­ces be­tween the tim­ber frames are widely used in Bavaria. Fish traps and bas­kets have been braided like this for cen­turies and cap­ti­vate by their di­verse forms and fine wick­er­work with sta­bi­liz­ing rings and di­ag­o­nals,” he said.

Wim­mer used re­gional wood, pri­mar­ily spruce wood planks from Cen­tral Euro­pean forests, as well as beech for the tim­ber-frame nodes and larch shin­gles for the con­i­cal roofs. The church is a low-en­ergy build­ing with pas­sive en­ergy use. We un­der­cut the val­ues of the Ger­man En­ergy Sav­ing Or­di­nance by up to 28%.

“In the cones, we use natural up­wind dy­nam­ics for ven­ti­la­tion; the un­der­floor heat­ing is supplied with geo­ther­mal en­ergy, the floor plate serv­ing as a thermal stor­age mass. Fur­ther at­tributes are eco­nom­i­cal LED lu­mi­naires, greened flat-roof ar­eas and trench sys­tems for rain­wa­ter leach­ing. More­over, we have looked for sim­ple tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions in prin­ci­ple in or­der to en­sure dura­bil­ity,” he ex­plained. The wood of conifers, which are fast-grow­ing trees, is pri­mar­ily used for struc­tural tim­ber­work. “We have used larch roof cov­er­ings. In places, we have used oak wood for rea­sons of de­sign or fire pro­tec­tion.”

When asked what im­por­tance did he at­tribute to wood as a raw ma­te­rial in gen­eral, his re­ply was: “That’s an easy ques­tion to an­swer. Do you know a raw ma­te­rial that is re­new­able and has a sim­i­lar over­all eco­log­i­cal balance and can be used as a ma­te­rial in such a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions as wood.

Just be­fore com­ple­tion: Wooden church St. Joseph in Holzkirchen nearby München.

The church made of wood: con­i­cal shape gives spec­tac­u­lar per­spec­tives.

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