Porcelain Chapel

Renovation of a Temporary Chapel

Client: Stiftung Leuchtenburg
Location: Seitenroda, Germany
Date: 2016

Northern German churches traditionally have employed symmetry, verticality and light to convey the otherworldly. Leuchtenburg castle’s chapel, which first appeared in historic records in the fifteenth century, had more humble origins, serving a stretch as a prisoners’ chapel when the castle was used as a prison. 

The renovation lead by Nau2 brings a calm clarity to the space. Thirty porcelain fins create an oval curtain through the chapel, filtering light from the east-facing windows and restoring symmetry. The fins are rotated to allow views into the oval from the entrance door and upper gallery, and to maintain clear views out the windows. Once seated in the pews, the space closes around parishioners with a clear visual focus on the alter. The bands behind the alter creating a reflecting board which projects sound towards the audience, allowing for clear, unamplified speech; a significant improvement over the previous echoing acoustics. 

The overall effect is one of quiet unity. The fin’s porcelain fronts lending a soft humanity to the space, while the rear polished aluminum finish dematerializes the space and amplifies daylight.

Project Partner: Sven-Erik Hitzer
Photographs: © Stiftung Leuchtenburg