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Berlin Chapel of Reconciliation – curved rammed earth

September 22, 2013

Luke Mahony

ImageA Neo Gothic church was located in no mans land between the east and west Berlin Borders.  The church building was destroyed in 1985 in order ‘to increase the security, order and cleanliness on the state border with West Berlin’. Five years later the Berlin wall was pulled down.

The Berlin architects Rudolf Reitermann and Peter Sassenroth and Austrian rammed earth specialist Martin Rauch built this amazing curved rammed earth structure to place the destroyed church. The new Chapel of Reconciliation ‘unites architectural and ecological modernity with remembrance, standing as a triumph against its predecessor’s destruction’.

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The church was officially opened on the 9th November 2000, the 11th anniverary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Curved rammed earth walls are a beautiful use of the material with its soft gentle lines. It is also the functionally a great use of the material. A curve, like a corner makes for a very strong structural element. This building inspired me to build my house with curved rammed earth walls using the Fibonacci sequence. One day I will finish the last few jobs and post some photos.

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