The Catholic church in Altensteig has received a new parish office with an adjoining parsonage with an iridescent black timber formwork made of charred Black Forest softwood as a stately addition to the existing church ensemble. This special form of wood conservation offers diverse visual effects when the sunlight strikes the charred facade.
The old building could not be preserved due to its structure and the lack of separation between the required use areas. It was replaced by a new building that addresses urban planning needs and blends naturally into the existing terrain while framing the church square along its edge. The large glass facade on the south facing the square on the ground floor of the parish hall welcomes the community with a friendly face.
The two units can now be clearly distinguished in the new building. The public section with the parish office is connected from the church square to the private section of the rectory and forms a clearly defined zone in the core of the building, with the building units overlapping. Loggias and balconies intersect in the simple building volume. Parts of the foundation and the retaining walls stabilising the uneven subsoil through the old building were used to produce the new basement, made of reinforced concrete. The rest of the building was constructed in wood.
The look of the interior relies heavily on the authenticity of the building materials. Solid wood walls feature warm, exposed wood surfaces that harmonise with visible screed and concrete surfaces, which extend from the basement to the upper floor in the area where the building units overlap. The building’s flat roof covered in greenery completes the overall building concept.