Modernizing the Sacred: Gottfried Böhm’s Mom Church of São Paulo Apóstolo in Brazil
Within the hilly panorama of Blumenau, a metropolis situated within the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, stands a gem of contemporary non secular structure by Gottfried Böhm, who recently passed away at the age of 101: the Mom Church of São Paulo Apóstolo, constructed from 1953 to 1963.
The São Paulo Apóstolo Church was constructed earlier than the São Luiz Gonzaga Church in Brusque – two non secular temples designed by Böhm with the workplace he inherited from his father, the architect Dominikus Böhm (1880-1955).
The brand new São Paulo Apóstolo Church was constructed on the positioning of the unique Mom Church, which featured conventional structure from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With the necessity to modernize the church construction and to meet the calls for of a rising congregation, the Catholic Church determined to create a brand new constructing that will match the colourful modernity of that point. This activity was achieved by a gaggle of devoted folks, headed by Friar Brás Reuter, who chosen Dominikus Böhm’s undertaking, developed collectively together with his son Gottfried Böhm – each famend architects behind groundbreaking church designs throughout Germany.
The result was a contemporary constructing that doesn’t replicate the architectural type of conventional Brazilian church buildings, resulting in some resistance from each the church and the neighborhood. However, the undertaking has nice symbolic worth and dialogues with the fashionable development methods and new supplies of the time, changing into a pioneering design in Brazil. This distinction between custom and innovation was fairly evident throughout development, as non secular actions continued within the previous church while the brand new one was being constructed, so that they coexisted for a quick interval.
The church advanced may be damaged down into three distinct volumes: the bell tower, marking the doorway staircase, the baptistery, and the temple. The previous, also referred to as Torre da Matriz (Mom Church tower), is a thirty-meter excessive gateway that separates the busy business space of the XV de Novembro road from the constructing lot. It holds the church’s three bells and is the principle entrance to the advanced. This construction sits on the identical spot as the previous tower and is without doubt one of the most distinctive landmarks within the panorama of Blumenau. As one enters the plateau, the overall form of the church is revealed. Consideration is straight away drawn to the baptistery as a result of type and particulars of the skinny concrete shells and the flèche, a small spire on the highest of the construction, which appears to have dissolved into metallic bars.
Within the temple, our eyes are guided to the altar and the circle of sunshine fashioned by the rose window. The stained glass home windows run by means of all the size of the constructing and supply visible continuity. The church has an oblong tripartite flooring plan symbolically divided by columns evoking the Hallenkirchen, or hall-churches. The area is unified and there are not any facet chapels or any bodily limitations to circulation. Along with the simplicity of the open plan, with a well-defined perimeter, the temple additionally options uncovered structural components, ornamentation outlined by supplies and textures, and a strong verticality emphasised by the tall and slender columns. Lighting performs a elementary position by revealing the size of the constructing and creating distinction between areas of sunshine and shadow, including dimension to the general area. This structure was tremendously impressed by Auguste and Gustave Perret’s Notre-Dame de Comfort.
The São Paulo Apóstolo Church, now often known as the Catholic Cathedral of Blumenau, is a significant landmark within the city and pure panorama. Researcher Leodi Covatti feedback:
Scanning by means of the streets, one appears to be like by means of the vertical component (the tower) and notices the framed picture of a constructing, hidden in the course of miscellaneous kinds, creating a visible continuity. What may appear to be an impediment now stimulates the curiosity of the observer, who, even at a distance, can acknowledge the slender columns and the fragile airplane that hovers over a line of stained glass home windows, simply earlier than even realizing it’s a roof. At dusk, the dramatic impact is extra intense, and the sunshine that emanates from the constructing appears to be supporting it. Every standpoint reveals a distinct image (…). – Leodi Covatti
The works of Dominikus and Gottfried encompass volumes ensuing from easy and proportional compositions utilizing stones, bricks, and strengthened concrete, revealing their pure finishes. The spatial and architectural final result engages with the land and its speedy environment, bringing the architects nearer to German expressionism. Researcher Angelina Wittmann says that, other than the selection of supplies and the connection to the panorama, this structure additionally experiments with extra intense types and the results of sunshine and shadow, which hints at traits of Brutalism – as seen each within the São Paulo Apóstolo Church and in its youthful sister, the São Luiz Gonzaga Mom Church in Brusque.
COVATTI, Leodi Antônio. 2020. Matizes da modernidade: a Igreja Matriz São Paulo Apóstolo de Blumenau de Dominikus e Gottfried Böhm [Shades of Modernity: Dominikus and Gottfried Böhm’s Mother Church of São Paulo Apóstolo de Blumenau].
WITTMAN, Angelina. 2020. Um Pritzker no interior de Santa Catarina: a igreja de Gottfried Böhm em Brusque [Discover Pritzker Prize Laureate Gottfried Böhm’s Brutalist Church in Brazil].