More and more people are leaving the church, but more and more people are in search of spirituality. St Fidelis in Stuttgart reacts to this with an open programme. Since December 2019, the almost 100-year-old Catholic church has also been a centre of spirituality and church music.
The schleicher.ragaller architekten architectural studio has designed a place of silence for believers and those looking for the meaning of life.
Seidenstrasse in the west of Stuttgart is characterized by traffic and noise. Yet amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, St Fidelis offers contemplative quietness. The Catholic church was built between1924 and1925 according to a design by Clemens Hummel, modelled on Italian basilicas. Destroyed during bombing in 1944, the House of God was reconstructed by Hugo Schlösser with homogeneous interior colours. After the Second Vatican Council in 1964, Rudolf and Maria Schwarz (two architects specialised in sacred architecture) gave the church a new style. With the most recent renovation of St Fidelis by schleicher.ragaller architekten, anything superfluous has been eliminated and this focus on only what is strictly necessary has created an atmosphere with a subtle and omnipresent feeling of relaxing silence.
The Travertine floor and unobtrusive wooden coffered ceiling produce homogeneous surfaces. The Stuttgart artist Martin Bruno Schmid developed the liturgical elements out of a single limestone monolith. The stained-glass windows created by Georg Meistermann also help to create a serenely bright atmosphere. The Lunalicht studio developed the artificial lighting concept. At night, the main lighting in the central nave is created by recessed luminaires set into the sides of the ceiling.
Square Laser Blade XL adjustable light cones are positioned in a way that creates a carpet of light over the entire surface, the light intensity of which can be specifically influenced.
Lux carpet of light on the ground. In the entrance area to the church, on the other hand, Laser Blade L luminaires offer diffused lighting.
Inspired by Leo von Klenze, figures of saints and votive candles are located on stone pedestals in concave niches and highlighted by accent lighting created by Palco projectors, as with the Tabernacle.
Another special feature of St. Fidelis is its intensive use for sophisticated concerts. The loose seating and the light carpet allow the use of the entire room area as a stage. For the individual solo instrument up to the large orchestra, clearly defined, intensive light spaces can be created at any point.
It was the late Maria Schwarz who, in personal conversations, encouraged the architects to develop and implement the idea of “communion”. This community spirit is displayed in the new seating arrangement of St Fidelis. The ambo and the altar produce a longitudinal axis in the central nave and the faithful sit opposite each other during the service.
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