The Christuskirche Gladbeck is meant to become the central Protestant location in the city. The concept for the conversion of the existing church building has been developed by Koschany + Zimmer Architekten KZA. In the realization competition, the Essen office took first place in spring 2018. The implementation of the draft is expected to begin in the late summer of 2019.
The task of the architects was to find solutions for the future use of the church. Serving as a new community centre, the historical building should offer sufficient space for all activities of the members and adapt to the changing needs. The concept submitted by the KZA team takes up these requirements: It strengthens the existing structure and establishes the new community center as a place of open-mindedness and tolerance. Flexible room boundaries allow multifunctional use.
For this purpose, the sacred space is redefined in a reduced size and set into the existing building as a “room in the room”. The side walls are designed as opaque sliding elements. They can be opened in the lower range and “parked” on both sides of the organ loft. The materiality dissolves upward and forms a translucent skin, on which the sidelight of the church is reflected.
The group rooms are located in the aisles of the church and placed into the galleries. Thanks to sliding glass elements, they can be connected to the entire room. For large events such as festive services, church celebrations or concerts, the original church space can be used freely. Acoustically, the entire sacral space is still sound space for the organ.
The draft plans to pull down the windows of the aisles to the ground floor. The community café can be located in the left aisle: bright rooms that offer free access to the outdoor terrace and thus symbolize openness. The youth area is housed in the existing rear extension. Here, too, the division into different areas offers a maximum of flexibility for various uses.
The competition was launched by the Evangelical Lutheran Church Gladbeck. The design developed by KZA prevailed against five other submissions.