I dropped into the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, a building I had seen a thousand times from the outside, but never from the inside.
|Image copyright Kultur.ARD.de|
But, about colour. There is little on the outside. In fact, the aged and weathered greyness of the 1960s concrete structure in a busy city centre betrays the beauty within. Unless daylight has gone and the building is lit from within this is an entirely monochrome and unappealing exterior. In contrast, the concrete exterior of Spence's Meeting House has been given an off-white coat of paint and also benefits from water features and old trees surrounding it.
The individual cells of the honeycomb structure are fractured, making the glass look as if it had been blown out and put back together using the broken pieces. I was wondering whether this was on Eiermann's or Loire's mind. Even if the symbolism is accidental, the fractured nature of the windows is surely a reflection of the shattered outside world this building rose from. The calm and beauty of the interior must have been particularly poignant for visitors in the early 1960s, who still had to walk past many a ruin to get to this daring new building.