saai | Archive for Architecture and Engineering

Digital Collection Egon Eiermann

Competition ruin of St.Nikolai church


Competition ruin of St.Nikolai church

The neo-Gothic church of St. Nikolai, built by George G. Scott, was badly damaged in the last war, the nave almost completely destroyed and the tower damaged. The task of the competition was to develop alternative solutions for the future use of the church. It had to be borne in mind that, due to its location in the sparsely populated city centre, a church of the former size was no longer needed.

The two proposals that Eiermann drew up had in common the preservation of the tower, which is characteristic of Hamburg's city skyline, the use of its interior as a memorial to the war dead, and the construction of a raised platform to accommodate the new buildings. Proposal A is based on the structural specifications and resumes the old building axis. In correspondence with the tower, the new building rises up out of the ruins of the nave - a series of folded trusses whose shape is reminiscent of Gothic forms. Proposal B is based on the demolition of the ruins of the nave and organises the old and new components on a platform as a new ecclesiastical district. The church building, whose interior - completely enclosed by coloured glass pictures - should be bathed in subdued light, is set at right angles to the old building axis. A separate bell girder is used as a scale mediator to the mighty masses of the old tower.

Immo Boyken, „Entwurfscharakteristika im Werk von Egon Eiermann aus der Zeit nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg“ , Diss., Universität Karlsruhe, Fakultät Architektur, Teil III, S. 90

Project-specific information

Project Competition ruin of St.Nikolai church
Persons involved
  • Egon Eiermann, Architektur
Project period 1953

Object-specific information

Typology Sakralbau, religious buildings

Site-specific information

Country Deutschland
City Hamburg