On the outskirts of Prague, the town of Kladno was after the industrial centre of Bohemia. With just 67,000 citizens, the restricted-knit municipality has been served by the Brethren Church due to the fact its founding in 1870. But the congregation finally outgrew its first multi-tale constructing on a terraced advancement, and its uncomfortable format hindered its ability to function as a community hub. Its new property, designed by Prague studio QARTA Architektura, enables the church to sustain its religious programming even though conference its larger sized aims to increase the excellent and availability of community companies, make improvements to residing disorders and foster social inclusion.
The new setting up was co-financed by the European Union and funded in section via the sale of the previous sanctuary, the bordering backyard, and by donations from its congregation — making it the solution of a robust neighborhood exertion. Conceived as a backyard garden pavilion, the 360-square-metre prayer facility now also consists of lecture rooms, a modest café, and an business office inside of a one-storey constructing on a recently landscaped web-site. In addition to offering leisure functions for both equally youth and older people, the centre will also deliver care for those people in need to have, which include those people with serious ailments, physical disabilities, or people in crisis cases. “The foundation of our work is to focus on the good quality of life”, suggests Jiří Řezák, co-founder of QARTA.
The new developing is located close by public transit and the Kladno clinic on a road named immediately after the church choir’s founder, Václava Pázdral. It was crucial to totally free up the area in front of the developing to develop ample connection with the site’s exterior spaces, which include things like a group backyard garden. A pergola serves as a kind of front porch for the church and will shortly be coated in greenery to shade a relaxed outdoor seating room. The developing is a juxtaposition of light-weight and darkish, clad in charcoal gray brick with a big glazed lightwell at its main. Friends are welcomed inside of beneath the pre-forged concrete portico, exactly where a huge wood doorway prospects into the entrance hall.
To the still left, a wood-clad vestibule provides way to the chapel, though the supporting applications these kinds of as classrooms, workplaces and the cafe are found down a brick-clad hallway to the right. The entrance corridor mediates these two wings, making it possible for both courses to purpose simultaneously. Both the sanctuary and the café are also accessible by way of the exterior portico.
The facade’s product palette carries seamlessly into the chapel interior. As opposed to regular Catholic church buildings, ornament is scant right here. The architects in its place embraced a modern minimalist aesthetic. The space’s charcoal brick walls and concrete-like epoxy flooring are softened by wooden furnishings, with wool acoustic boards overhead concealed by an MDF lattice. The channel-glass skylight is the correct pièce de résistance, supported by an uncovered metal structure that nods to the site’s industrial heritage.
Underneath the skylight, a monumental glass cross glistens in the solar. The transparency of the outstanding layout attribute enables the simplicity of the architecture to glow, though the masonry walls draw subtle focus to the cross, with 3D bricks clustered around the hall’s centre, turning into more and more sparse to its perimeter.
“The descending mild fills the place, slices its environment. It evokes a feeling of grandeur, a state of expectation, contemplation, humility,” the architects explain. “Similarly highly effective, in a sacred house, is the knowledge of darkness, which can make way for other senses, turning notion inward.”