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St. Kamillus Monchengladbach

Munchengladbach, Germany
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The saint Camillus church (St. Kamillus) has a southwest-northeast orientation and was designed by Dominikus Bohm. It is situated in a prominent location in the urban planning of high beech-lined, former Quack'schen garden in the district Monchengladbach-Dahl and includes a section on the south side for a novitiate, with a two-storey convent and hospital.


Visible from a distance is the colossal facade, built from burnt bricks; the entrance is dark with an upstream staircase. The main entrance is flanked by two narrow arched windows that stretch high up the facade and accommodate glass art, designed by Bohm. The structure is largely defined by the brick facade which is varied by rolling layers, semi-circular arches, ears, sound and arcades.

The elongated height of the hall with the subsequent low south aisle is offset by the semi-circle of clear glass. This follows the requirements of the liturgical movement which Bohm conceived as creating with the altar and community space as one unit. The effect of the tall narrow windows of 21 bright slender concrete struts between the choir chamber is supported by the strict screening of the chambers with the sloping ceiling, enhancing the illusion of perspective. For the entry hall the grid continues to the four-storey arcade wall, where the galleries from the neighboring hospital are directly accessible.

Because of war damage the ceiling was renewed over the nave and the furniture replaced. The organ, originally housed in the gallery, was replaced by a new (1994) organ builder Martin Scholz at the site of the abandoned pulpit. In addition to the choir moving, a modern celebration altar replaced the original high altar with a stone treatment.

The Hospital

The angled, hospital is directly connected to the community church. Over the main entrance, under pillar gate, the patients have access to the floors of the hospital according to the galleries. The white plastered hospital wings are effectively positioned within the church and monastery. The concrete frame contrasts with the grouted brick masonry on the inside of the two-storey cloister. An interesting detail is the free space used in the stairway. The dual purpose of the church is as an institutional church and community centre, with the organization being worked out through the design. Community and sanctuary are one.

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  1. Baukunst (German)
kolkorto, March 14th, 2013
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