The temporary centre of pastoral care in the diocese of Linz, located on the steel company voestalpine’s site, was built decades ago and had to be pulled down due to its poor condition.
The new building is designed to create good framework conditions for spiritual, liturgical as well as sociable secular events for both active and retired personnel.
The initial project title “where man and work meet“ emphasises in which direction the needs of the people working at the steel company point.
The plot of land lies between borders formed by the main traffic arteries Westbahn and Ebelsberger bypass and the voestalpine’s large industrial estate. This creates an island which, together with the deposit of a four-metre thick layer of slag stone formed during the era of industrialisation, meets the characteristic features of a “no-man’s-land”, which is in need of a new strong character.
The study of duality between man and work, relating to the interaction between the pastoral care and the steel company, led to the concept of a complementary addition to the area through a new “built landscape“. Conventional church buildings, e.g. a basilica or tower, would not be able to achieve their independent meaning in this area as the voestalpine’s site is mainly dominated by relatively high buildings (cylinder, spheres, cone, tower, etc.) with incomparably large dimensions.
In this case, it is not buildings but rather small existing woodlands which represent a “bastion of nature“. This serves as a conceptional starting point for the introduction of an “oasis for the people“, which is integrated into the green hillside, shielded from environmental exposure. The building is subsequently developed by cutting into and hollowing out the hillside.