Catholic Church in Geroldswil
by Stemmle Architekten



Swiss architects Stemmle Architekten have completed the reconstruction of the Catholic Church in Geroldswil near Zürich.


The church, originally built in 1972 by architect Walter Moser, has been given a new glass roof and interior lighting scheme as part of the refurbishment.


Lighting design is by Nachtaktiv.


Here's some info from the architects' website, translated from German with Google Translate:


2004-2007 reconstruction

The Catholic Church in Geroldswil emerged in 1972 as part of the newly created town centre. The spatial concept of the architect Walter Moser, the most versatile usable House plan is more topical than ever. The poor condition of the roof and the installations, however, a comprehensive redevelopment.


That led to the opportunity to daylight lead to redesign. The dark materialization of the 70s, swallowed too much light and had a little more pleasant atmosphere. The aim of the restructuring was to a large proportion of daylight a space of silence to create. Thus, the church is not only open for events, but also serves to Kraftschöpfen for everyday or just sit down, off.


The key element of the new design determines the central area of the church. The highest part of the space was equipped with a new glass roof eingedeckt. Among them are 17 pairs arranged acrylic panels with a surface mattierter daylight filters and cause a meditative mood light in the course of a day is constantly changing. During the night, these integrated LED illuminated by so delicate and light body. Light-lines lighten the side concrete walls and let the entire roof float.

The new travertine floor completes the smooth materialization in warm hues. With the completion of renovation work has Geroldswil again a versatile usable house, the widest possible range of users.

Posted on Monday June 23rd 2008 at 10:59 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Fling

    “The dark materialization of the 70s, swallowed too much light and had a little more pleasant atmosphere.”
    Not many Catholics would not stand for that.

  • rodger

    a tad anal, very understated, but there are many nicely balanced effects of light. lovely.

  • rodger

    ha ha, the google translate function is not quiet there yet. the above text is twisted in the weirdest ways.

  • Perfect integration of light and architecture well done!

  • JuiceMajor²

    I like the idea of filtered daylight to create meditative mood light. Nice touch!

  • leandro locsin

    its a church only because of the altar and the mounted cross.

    this can double as a conference hall, cafeteria, speed dating venue.

    intimacy with the essentials is not addressed. church of the light will always and forever be a church.

  • edward

    Nice work. I might even be persuaded to enter a church again by design this excellent.

  • heavenly! this reminds me of a church 5 houses down the street from me that is ultra cool – 60’s modern- i will have to take photos of it and submit it or put it on my blog- but it fits right in here

  • hamilton

    leandro said it perfectly.

    looks like the courtroom of the future. People please keep in mind everything youve ever known about churches and their architecture. Ponder stone work and stained glass, then, with that in mind, look back at this design.
    I also love it when the overall design necessitates a crucifix that fits it.

  • eduardo

    I miss Ando!

  • edward

    “Ponder stone work and stained glass, then, with that in mind, look back at this design.”

    OK, right. But that was then and now is now. The ole blue smoke and mirrors doesn’t work any more for sophisticated citizens. A cross is all that is needed today, no blood weeping corpse.

  • Gama

    i agree with Leandro: it lacks atmosphere

  • hamilton

    “no blood weeping corpse.”
    i agree that now is now, but when you say the old doesn’t “work any more for sophisticated citizens”, what do you mean by “work”? also, sophistication is irrelevant in a church context.
    i was simply pointing our the irony and interesting questions that can be raised when joining modern design and earth old religion.
    Design is in fact religion now!

  • edward

    “Design is in fact religion now!”

    That may well be as even the Vatican has assembled its own pantheon of starchitects in a competition to design the Church for the 3rd Millennium (hardly earth old). Not all the faithful were pleased with the results:
    But as the Holy Spirit guides the Church in these matters, one may assume the winner has a divine imprimatur

  • Viktor Mari

    lol…. really? i wouldnt want anyone to TRY to make my church modern. it looks so cold and unwelcoming i almost forget that its a church. theres nothing that shows its a church other than the alter and cross. on top of that the church probably wasted a lot of money to look like a hotel conference room, id rather pray in a hospital’s church than that one.

  • I think there’s a big technical fault here. Catholic churches use a crucifix (body of Christ On the Cross) and Christian churches use a cross (because they believe Christ has come down from the cross). This is a major difference between the catholic and christian churches.

  • jose n antony

    very good atmosphere

  • Anne Lynn

    If I wasn’t told this was a catholic church I would have assumed it was almost a meeting room with a cool ceiling- just take the cross off the wall. It makes me wonder if it was the designer or client that made that decision. An interesting case study. I get the universal/minimalist qualities – but minimalism isn’t necessary synonymous with simplicity. This space seems almost sterile.

  • Sorry,but to me its like some theatre entrance hall-lacks the atmosphere,the tipology of the sacred place

  • gb

    it is nice as an architect, but not for a church!
    chuch is a sacred place, and every object must to expess this…
    and that… “table”… it is not an altar, just a smoking-table…

    Lord, keep the Church away from these modernists please!