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New project on Alvar Aalto’s church architecture in Germany

last modified Jan 29, 2018 10:45 AM

Dr Maximilian Sternberg has received a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant for a project entitled ‘The civic and the sacred Alvar Aalto’s churches and parish centres in Wolfsburg (1960-1968).’ Together with PhD student Sofia Singler, Dr Sternberg will examine Alvar Aalto’s urban ecclesiastical projects in Wolfsburg in relation to the role of religious identity in urban developments in West Germany. Even though Aalto is widely recognised as the leading Nordic modernist architect of the twentieth century, his German church designs have received little attention in the Anglophone or Nordic literature. This study seeks to redress this imbalance by analysing how Aalto adapted his approach to sacred space and religious communal facilities, developed in Finland from the 1920s, to the specific circumstances and challenges of 1960s West Germany. This project will thus explore how Aalto addressed the unique difficulties of designing sacred space in a secular age. 

Max Sternberg 1

Max Sternberg 2

Max Sternberg 3