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The Civic and the Sacred: Alvar Aalto's Churches and Parish Centres in Wolfsburg, 1960–68

  • Sofia Singler and Maximilian Sternberg

Abstract

This article considers Alvar Aalto's two church and parish centre projects in Wolfsburg in light of the architectural, political and sociocultural contexts that framed their design and construction in post-war Germany. The study interrogates how architect and parish came together to build the ecclesiastical complexes of Heilig-Geist (1960–62) and Stephanus (1963–68), and how the parties interacted and engaged with widely debated issues in church architecture and urban planning. Close analysis of the buildings and their design processes, based on site visits as well as the study of architectural drawings and models, shows that Heilig-Geist and Stephanus acquire sacred character primarily through the connections they establish between interior and exterior space. The dynamic between inside and outside relates the buildings to key ideas in contemporaneous church architectural theory concerning inward- and outward-looking church-building, part of the broader discourse on the relationship between the sacred and the profane.

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1 Aalto, Alvar, ‘The Enemies of Architecture’, speech at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, 12 October 1963, in Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, Göran, trans. Binham, Timothy (New York, 1997), pp. 139–41 (p. 139).

2 Strauß, Werner, ‘Klare Worte als Aufgabe: Die Plannungsgeschichte des Alvar-Aalto Kulturhauses’, in Ich baue: Der Architekt Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg, ed. Pump-Uhlmann, Holger et al. (Braunschweig, 2000), pp. 2734 (p. 29). The Rathaus (1955–58) was designed by Titus Taeschner.

3 Reinhard Roseneck, ‘Kulturhaus, Kirchen und Theater: Zehn Jahre Wirken Alvar Aaltos in Wolfsburg’, in Ich baue, ed. Pump-Uhlmann et al., pp. 17–25 (p. 25).

4 Müller, Susanne, Aalto und Wolfsburg: Ein skandinavischer Beitrag zur deutschen Architektur der Nachkriegszeit (Weimar, 2008), p. 23.

5 Alvar Aalto. Vol. 1, 1922–62, ed. Karl Fleig (Zurich, 1963), p. 254.

6 Heidersberger, Heinrich, Wolfsburg: Bilder einer jungen Stadt (Berlin, 1963).

7 Roseneck, Reinhard, ‘Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg’, in Alvar Aalto: Toward a Human Modernism, ed. Nerdinger, Winfried (Munich, 1999), pp. 142–51 (p. 147).

8 Letter from Rüdiger Recknagel to Alvar Aalto, 10 July 1963, Jyväskylä, Finland, Alvar Aalto Museum Archives [hereafter AAMA], ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

9 Letter from Erich Bammel to Aalto, 5 November 1958; and Recknagel to Aalto, 21 December 1966, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’. The city ultimately co-financed Stephanuskirche.

10 Brülls, Holger, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, Wolfsburg (Lindenberg, 1999), p. 39.

11 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 132.

12 Ulrich Höhns, ‘Learning from the Forest Apes: Alvar Aalto's Influence on North German Architecture’, in Alvar Aalto, ed. Nerdinger, pp. 152–66 (pp. 152–53).

13 Giedion, Sigfried, ‘Über finnische Architektur’, Bauwelt, 22 (1931), pp. 3435.

14 Rasmussen, Steen Eiler, Nordische Baukunst (Berlin, 1940).

15 Kuhlmann, Dörte, ‘Alvar Aalto – The Magus of the North in Germany’, in Alvar Aalto: Second Nature, ed. Kries, Mateo and Eisenbrand, Jochen (Weil am Rhein, 2014), pp. 338–59 (pp. 339–43).

16 Neuenschwander, Eduard and Neuenschwander, Claudia, Finnische Bauten: Atelier Alvar Aalto, 1950–1951 (Erlenbach, 1954).

17 Höhns, ‘Learning from the Forest Apes’, pp. 160–62.

18 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 28.

19 Despite being branded as the figurehead or even father of a Finnish Modernism, Aalto himself consistently emphasised his architecture was ‘pan-European’ or ‘international’ rather than national. Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, pp. 8, 217–18, 275.

20 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 10.

21 Ibid., p. 42.

22 Kuhlmann, ‘The Magus of the North’, p. 340.

23 Ibid., pp. 340–41.

24 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 32; Kuhlmann, ‘The Magus of the North’, p. 339.

25 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 32–57.

26 Pehnt, Wolfgang, ‘Aalto in Deutschland’, Zodiac, 7 (1960), pp. 176–81.

27 In the 1950s, Aalto was appreciated for having ‘overcome’ his classicism of the 1920s, a period he himself also downplayed — demanding, for example, that publishers minimise the attention given to his early-career classical designs in later monographs of his oeuvre. See Finne, Nils C., ‘The Workers’ Club of 1924 by Alvar Aalto: The Importance of Beginnings’, Perspecta, 27 (1992), pp. 5275. Aalto's references to motifs such as the agora, the stoa and the amphitheatre were appealing in Germany not in terms of classicism as a style but as architectural and urban typologies. They were viewed favourably in light of phil-Hellenism, which informed influential narratives in the post-war period asserting that Germany was a culture rather than civilisation. See Reinhard Gieselmann and Werner Aebli, Kirchenbau (Zurich, 1960), pp. 95–96.

28 For analysis of Aalto's ‘modern eclecticism’, see Porphyrios, Demetri, Sources of Modern Eclecticism: Studies on Alvar Aalto (London, 1982). The irregularity of the façades and the overall asymmetry of the Wolfsburg churches has been read as national romantic. See Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 140–41.

29 Hitchcock, Henry-Russell and Smith, G. E. Kidder, ‘Aalto versus Aalto: The Other Finland’, Perspecta, 9/10 (1965), pp. 131–66; Nordic Classicism, 1910–1930, ed. Simo Paavilainen (Helsinki, 1982).

30 Lane, Barbara Miller, ‘National Romanticism in Modern German Architecture’, Studies in the History of Art, 29 (1991), pp. 110–47 (pp. 129–30).

31 Alvar Aalto, ‘What is Culture?’, speech at Jyväskylä Lyceum, Jyväskylä, 1 October 1958, in Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, pp. 15–17. As early as the 1930s, Aalto used ‘the little man’ to critique the Bauhaus and ‘rationalist functionalism’; he discussed Marcel Breuer's metal-tube chairs as an example of the condescension of designers who elevated form above comfort. Alvar Aalto, ‘Rationalism and Man’, speech at Svenska Slöjdföreningen, Stockholm, 9 May 1935, in Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, pp. 89–93.

32 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 9.

33 Ibid., pp. 23–27.

34 Ibid., p. 32.

35 Fulbrook, Mary, The People's State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker (New Haven, CT, 2005), pp. 264–65.

36 Nicole Schneider, ‘Humane Architektur contra Nachkriegsmoderne: Die Vorentwürfe Alvar Aaltos und Paul Baumgartens für das Kulturhaus im Vergleich’, in Ich baue, ed. Pump-Uhlmann et al., pp. 35–44.

37 Colin St John Wilson illustrates his conception of the ‘Other Tradition of modern architecture’ through a close reading of Aalto as one of its exemplars. Wilson, Colin St John, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project (London, 1995).

38 The first congress on church architecture took place in Hanover in 1947. The proceedings of the congresses were documented in the journal Kunst und Kirche (1957–68). See Schwebel, Horst, ‘An Aversion to Grand Gestures: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Protestant Church Architecture’, in Europäischer Kirchenbau, 1950–2000 = European Church Architecture, 1950–2000, ed. Stock, Wolfgang Jean (Munich and New York, 2002), pp. 212–23 (p. 213).

39 Ibid., pp. 213–15.

40 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 5.

41 Schildt, Göran, Alvar Aalto: The Complete Catalogue of Architecture, Design and Art (New York, 1994), p. 35.

42 Bartning, Otto, ‘Die Baukunst als Deuterin ihrer Zeit’, Die Form, 1 (1922), pp. 1314.

43 Heilig-Geist-Kirchengemeinde, ‘Gutachten für den Neubau eines Gemeindezentrums der Heilig-Geist-Gemeinde in Wolfsburg vom 30.7.1960’, cited in Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 130.

44 Burchard, John, The Voice of the Phoenix: Postwar Architecture in Germany (Cambridge, 1966), p. 7.

45 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 147–49.

46 The commitment to Aalto is evident particularly in the correspondence between the parish and the architect's office 1958–60. Despite Aalto being consistently late in his responses, not visiting often enough and demanding too much pay, officials insisted on him anyway. Meyer even put pressure on Aalto to attend Heilig-Geist's dedication in person, claiming his presence ‘would be regarded as significant as that of bishops’. See letter from Egon Meyer to Aalto, 15 April 1962, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

47 Jetsonen, Sirkkaliisa, ‘Valossa ja hämärässä’, in Suomalaista kirkkoarkkitehtuuria 1917–1970, ed. Knapas, Marja Terttu (Helsinki, 2006), pp. 1315 (p. 13).

48 Schwebel, ‘Aversion to Grand Gestures’, p. 213.

49 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, pp. 24–30.

50 Roseneck, ‘Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg’, p. 148.

51 Porphyrios, Sources of Modern Eclecticism, p. 10.

52 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 137.

53 Recknagel, Rüdiger, ‘Alvar Aaltos Bauten in Wolfsburg’, in Stephanuskirche am Detmeroder Markt: Einweihung am. 1. Advent 1968 (Wolfsburg, 1968), pp. 1213 (p. 13).

54 Kenneth Frampton calls this parti the ‘fish and egg’ or ‘head and tail’. Frampton, Kenneth, Modern Architecture: A Critical History, 4th edn (London, 2007), pp. 192202.

55 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 165–66.

56 Wickberg, Nils Erik, ‘Kirkkorakentamisen edellytyksistä nykyaikana’, Arkkitehti, 6–7 (1958), pp. 103–14 (p. 107).

57 Schwebel, ‘Aversion to Grand Gestures’, p. 219.

58 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 34.

59 Ibid., p. 38.

60 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 132; Bartning, Otto and Weyres, Willy, Kirchen: Handbuch für den Kirchenbau (Munich, 1959).

61 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 14.

62 Letter from Bammel to Aalto, 12 May 1959, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

63 Ibid.

64 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, p. 49.

65 Rainer, Roland, ‘Moderne oder Post-Moderne-Architektur?’, Bauen + Wohnen, 32 (1978), pp. 295–96 (p. 296).

66 Letter from Eckhard Fedrowitz to Aalto, 7 June 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

67 Letter from Kaarlo Leppänen to Ernst Korritter, 3 July 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

68 Letter from Aalto to Bammel, 23 January 1959, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

69 Schildt, Göran, Alvar Aalto: Elämä (Jyväskylä, 2007), p. 796.

70 Letter from Aalto to Fedrowitz, 5 November 1968; and Fedrowitz to Aalto, 14 November 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’. Aalto was actually a confident, and admired, orator. See Schildt, Complete Catalogue, pp. 7–8.

71 Letter from Aalto to Fedrowitz, 15 October 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

72 Pehnt, Wolfgang, ‘Die ganz große Raumform. Dominikus Böhm und Rudolf Schwarz, ein Doppelportrait’, in Dominikus Böhm 1880–1955, ed. Voigt, Wolfgang and Flagge, Ingeborg (Tübingen, 2005), pp. 2843 (p. 30).

73 Mensch und Natur: Alvar Aalto in Deutschland, ed. Dörte Kuhlmann (Weimar, 1999), p. 74.

74 Aalto submitted his proposal together with Danish architect Jean-Jacques Baruël. Schildt, Complete Catalogue, p. 52; ‘International idékonkurrence om kirkebyggeri’ [1958], Arkitekten, 64 (1962), pp. 137–84.

75 Miller, William C., ‘Alvar Aalto's Religious Architecture’, Faith & Form, 8 (1975), pp. 1013 (p. 11).

76 Radford, Antony and Oksala, Tarkko, ‘Alvar Aalto and the Expression of Discontinuity’, Journal of Architecture, 12 (2007), pp. 257–80.

77 Miller Lane, ‘National Romanticism in German Modern Architecture’, pp. 132–33.

78 Lane, Barbara Miller, National Romanticism and Modern Architecture in Germany and the Scandinavian Countries (Cambridge, 2000), p. 6.

79 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 35.

80 The parish requested a crypt-like baptistery in light of the neighbourhood's high birth rates — the fear being that frequent baptisms would preclude other uses of the space — which allowed Aalto to exploit the site's sloped topography. Roseneck, ‘Kulturhaus, Kirchen und Theater’, p. 23.

81 Letter from Fedrowitz to Aalto, 7 June 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

82 There were three other contemporaneous church projects in Wolfsburg: Gerhard Langmaack's Christuskirche (1951) and Pauluskirche (1960), and Gustav Gsaenger's Kreuzkirche (1957). Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 164–65.

83 On the traditional role of light in sacred space, see Kieckhefer, Richard, Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley (Oxford, 2008), pp. 140–41. On Modernist architects’ engagement with the symbolic and mystical connotations of light, see Kilde, Jeanne Halgren, Sacred Power, Sacred Space: An Introduction to Christian Architecture and Worship (Oxford, 2008), pp. 178–82.

84 After the Kulturzentrum was finished, Aalto spent much less time in Wolfsburg. His absence on site is likely the main reason for the final scheme's deviations from his design. Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 37.

85 Committee of the German Church Bell Council, Kirkontornin merkityksestä. Saksan kellolaitoksen neuvottelukunnan julkilausuma (On the Meaning of the Bell-tower, a Finnish translation of an original text in German), 1958, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’. The council encouraged subtlety in contemporary bell towers — in acceptance of the difficulty of competing visually with tall housing blocks and industrial buildings — but still highlighted legibility as a key concern, urging designs not to succumb to defeatist obscurity either. The local pastors in Wolfsburg had given Aalto a copy of the council's On the Meaning of the Bell-tower, which he translated and annotated personally.

86 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, pp. 34–35.

87 Roseneck, ‘Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg’, p. 150.

88 Letter from Leppänen to Meyer, 12 November 1963, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

89 Letter from Dirk Andries Flentrop to Aalto, 3 January 1964, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

90 Letter from Leppänen to Meyer, 15 April 1964, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

91 Aalto had used the curved altar wall-cum-ceiling not just in his Finnish churches of the 1950s, but even in unrealised early-career schemes such as his submissions for church competitions in Vallila (1929), Tehtaanpuisto (1930) and Temppeliaukio (1933).

92 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 129–30.

93 Burchard, The Voice of the Phoenix, p. 67.

94 Brülls, Holger, Alvar Aaltos Kirchen. Schriftenreihe der Stadtbild- und Denkmalpflege Wolfsburg, Nr. 3 (Braunschweig, 1999), p. 42.

95 Schildt, Complete Catalogue, p. 46.

96 Aalto, Alvar, ‘Vuoksenniskan kirkko’, Arkkitehti, 39 (1959), pp. 194207 (p. 201).

97 Bartning, Otto, ‘Das evangelische Kirchenbauprogramm’, Die Form, 1 (1922), pp. 2627 (p. 26).

98 One of the earliest instances of Aalto's explicit reliance on acoustic models to convince a client of an unusual ceiling was at Viipuri Library (1929).

99 Brülls, Alvar Aaltos Kirchen, p. 42; Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 142. Müller also sees links to Böhm's St Kamillus (1929) as well as Oscar Niemeyer's Igreja São Francisco de Assis (1943).

100 Schwarz, Rudolf, The Church Incarnate: The Sacred Function of Christian Architecture [1938], trans. Harris, Cynthia (Chicago, 1958), pp. 180–81.

101 Ibid., p. 181.

102 Recknagel, ‘Alvar Aaltos Bauten’, pp. 12–13.

103 Jetsonen, ‘Valossa ja hämärässä’, p. 14.

104 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 38.

105 Rainer, Roland, ‘Kirchenbau und Stadtplanung’, Christliche Kunstblätter, 103 (1965), pp. 3032 (p. 32).

106 On the traditional communicative role of boundaries, both architectural and topographical, in mediating sacred space in Christianity, see, for example, Pullan, Wendy, ‘“Sacred Space” as Mediation’, in The Church in the Post-industrial Landscape, ed. Dovendans, Kees and van der Harst, Gertjan (Zoetermeer, 2004), pp. 247–63.

107 Alvar Aalto, [Untitled], in Stephanuskirche am Detmeroder Markt: Einweihung am. 1. Advent 1968 (Wolfsburg, 1968), p. 15.

108 Poscharsky, Peter, ‘Kolloquium mit Professor Dr. Otto Bartning’, in Die Problematik des modernen Kirchenbaues, ed. Kellenbach, Hans (Marburg, 1960), pp. 918 (pp. 12–13).

109 Ibid., p. 12.

110 Bartning and Weyres, Handbuch für den Kirchenbau, pp. 435–42.

111 Poscharsky, ‘Kolloquium’, p. 14.

112 Juhani Pallasmaa has defined Aalto's architecture as a never-ending mediation of opposites: ‘Nature and culture, history and modernity, society and the individual, tradition and innovation, standardisation and variety, the universal and the regional, the intellectual and the emotional, the rational and the intuitive.’ Pallasmaa, Juhani, ‘Alvar Aalto: Towards a Synthetic Functionalism’, in Alvar Aalto: Between Humanism and Materialism, ed. Reed, Peter (New York, 1998), pp. 2045 (p. 21).

113 Müller also makes the connection to Bartning's ‘outward-looking church’ (1959). Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 142–44.

114 Alvar Aalto, ‘Notes on Design Evaluation by the Church Department for Building and Conservation, s.a.’, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

115 Letter from Fedrowitz to Aalto, 7 July 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

116 Bartning and Weyres, Handbuch für den Kirchenbau, p. 442.

117 Kuhlmann, ‘The Magus of the North’, p. 343; Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 47.

118 Recknagel, ‘Alvar Aaltos Bauten’, pp. 12–13.

119 Holger Pump-Uhlmann, ‘Stadt – Kultur – Landschaft: Das Alvar-Aalto-Kulturhaus im städtebaulichen Kontext’, in Ich baue, ed. Pump-Uhlmann et al., pp. 45–56 (p. 49).

120 Brülls, Alvar Aaltos Kirchen, p. 16.

121 Letter from Leppänen to Bammel, 2 February 1960, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

122 Letter from Aalto to Georg Wellhausen, 5 July 1966, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

123 Schildt, Complete Catalogue, pp. 35–36.

124 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, p. 91.

125 Brülls, Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Stephanus-Kirche, p. 3.

126 Pump-Uhlmann, ‘Stadt – Kultur – Landschaft’, p. 45.

127 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 138.

128 Ibid., pp. 148, 155. The church council commended the ‘urbanistic integration’ of the scheme. Evangelical Lutheran Church Council in Hannover, ‘Evaluation of Aalto's design proposal, 4 December 1963’, AAMA.

129 Rainer, ‘Kirchenbau und Stadtplanung’, p. 30.

130 Letter from Meyer to Aalto, 12 May 1959, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

131 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, pp. 158–59.

132 Brülls, Alvar Aaltos Kirchen, p. 8.

133 In many civic, cultural and educational projects, on the other hand, Aalto opened up generous views from interior spaces to the outside. A well-known example is the café at the Jyväskylä Institute of Pedagogics Main Building (1959), whose entire outer perimeter consists of glazing.

134 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 137. Bammel and Meyer applauded Aalto's decision ‘to create an enclosed sacred area’ (letter from Meyer to Aalto, 5 August 1959, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’). The architect's office explained that the parish centre was to function as ‘an optical and acoustic screen from the busy street’ (letter from Leppänen to Bammel, 2 February 1960, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’).

135 Janssen, Joks, ‘Religiously Inspired Urbanism: Catholicism and the Planning of the Southern Dutch Provincial Cities Eindhoven and Roermond, c. 1900 to 1960’, Urban History, 43 (2016), pp. 135–57; Sterken, Sven, ‘A House for God or a Home for His People? The Church-Building Activity of Domus Dei in the Belgian Archbishopric (1952–82)’, Architectural History, 56 (2013), pp. 387425.

136 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, p. 49.

137 Tillich, Paul, ‘Kult und Form’, Kunst und Kirche, 8 (1931), pp. 36. The connection to Tillich is made by Müller (Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 166) and Brülls (Alvar Aaltos Kirchen, p. 16).

138 Letter from Bammel to Aalto, 12 May 1959, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

139 Alvar Aalto, ‘Form as a Symbol of Artistic Creativity’, in Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, pp. 181–83 (p. 182).

140 Ibid., p. 183.

141 Alvar Aalto, ‘Julkisten rakennusten dekadenssi’, Arkkitehti, 9–10 (1953), pp. 144–48.

142 Letter from Aalto to Werner Schneidler, 28 November 1962, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

143 Arto Köykkä, ‘Sakeinta sumua käskettiin sanoa Jumalaksi: Uskonnollinen kieli Pentti Saarikosken tuotannossa’ (doctoral thesis, University of Helsinki, 2016), pp. 137–143. In Finland, thinkers defending the Church's role in post-war society referred to the socialist anarchist Jean Boldt, who had invaded Helsinki Cathedral in 1917 to demonstrate that ostentatious churches were only hindrances to selfless charity, which ought to happen in the streets instead. Samu Nyström, ‘Poikkeusajan kaupunkielämäkerta: Helsinki ja helsinkiläiset maailmansodassa 1914–1918’ (doctoral thesis, University of Helsinki, 2013), pp. 135–141.

144 Alvar Aalto, ‘Our Old and New Churches’, in Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, ed. Schildt, pp. 35–37 (pp. 36–37).

145 Bartning, Otto, ‘Das Sakrale in der katholischen Kirchen’ [1919], in Spannweite. Aus Schriften und Reden ausgewählt und eingeleitet von Alfred Simon (Osnabrück, 1958), pp. 3946.

146 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, pp. 21–22.

147 Ibid., pp. 24–25.

148 Porphyrios, Sources of Modern Eclecticism, p. 28.

149 Letter from Le Corbusier to Marcel Ferry, 10 July 1956, in Le Corbusier – Choix de Lettres, ed. Jean Jenger (Basel and Boston, 2002), p. 399; Alvar Aalto, ‘Artikkelin asemasta’, Arkkitehti, 1–2 (1958), pp. 27–28.

150 Schwebel, ‘Aversion to Grand Gestures’, p. 219.

151 Otto Bartning, ‘Das radikale Bauprogramm der evangelischen Kirche’ [1919], in Spannweite, pp. 47–65.

152 Müller, Aalto und Wolfsburg, p. 169.

153 Gurlitt, Cornelius, Kirchen. Handbuch der Architektur. Vierter Teil. Entwerfen, Anlage und Einrichtung der Gebäude. 8. Halbband: Kirchen, Denkmäler und Bestattungsanlagen. Heft 1 (Stuttgart, 1906).

154 Letter from Ernst Korritter to Aalto, 12 August 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

155 Rombold, Günter, ‘Raumqualitäten’, Christliche Kunstblätter, 102 (1965), pp. 8990.

156 Poscharsky, ‘Kolloquium’, p. 12.

157 Schildt, Elämä, p. 163.

158 Schildt, Göran, Alvar Aalto. The Early Years, trans. Binham, Timothy (New York, 1984), p. 184.

159 Letter from Aalto to Fedrowitz, 15 October 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

160 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, pp. 21–22.

161 Letter from Aalto to Fedrowitz, 5 November 1968; and Fedrowitz to Aalto, 14 November 1968, AAMA, ‘Wolfsburg. Detmerode’.

162 Gieselmann and Aebli, Kirchenbau, pp. 47–48.

The Civic and the Sacred: Alvar Aalto's Churches and Parish Centres in Wolfsburg, 1960–68

  • Sofia Singler and Maximilian Sternberg

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