The errant parish | Michael Ángel Díaz Camacho

Nuestra Señora de la Victoria en Allgäu
Our Lady of the Victory in Allgäu, Gottfried Böhm

The camp demands opened field, contingency and movement. His fragility, lightness and horizontal condition, has spread out of analogous form so much in the military campaign as the vacation accession, both in the emergency and in the fair or the circus. The camp fascinates for his capacity of nomadism and his ephemeral vocation of alteration of the landscape: it fascinates his fleetingness. There exists nevertheless an archetype little started to the ambulant dynamics, an incorrectness, a rarety arisen from the flight and the shake: the church of campaign.

During the period Nazi and after the World War II some popular routes of peregrination developed across German territory1. Gottfried Böhm projects the church of Our Lady of the Victory in Allgäu, a small locality of the pre-Alpine Bavaria closely together of the border with Austria2. It is a question of a light and detachable church, a camp ready to install in the meanders of the Way. Nineteen prefabricated pavilions and hexagonal plant are organized in an informal way like spatial cluster, a cluster, a situation that integrates with naturalness the cardinal axis between the altar and the baptismal battery. Every pavilion possesses a cover casetón and lucernario central top, staying metallic circular props, cerchas and board of sheet, without coating: the structure is the architecture. The exterior units present minor height and one of them (in the image) integrates skilfully the belfry as part of the equipped skylight; the position of the altar is emphasized from the vertical singularity of his coverage.

The church fascinates us for his emotive capacity of summons, his spirituality, to the margin of his spatial or material condition: from the hiding place or the cave to the monumental temple; of the isolation of the hermitage to the central importance of the cathedral; from the infrastructure to the sanctuary; from the sculpture to the camp. Nevertheless, of all of them, the temple of campaign summons a strange connection with the men and the nature: it does not wait for the pilgrim but it goes out to his meeting when this one gets lost; it is not foreign to the landscape in the one that finds his habitat, but it disappears iterative after his desideratum. The vaporous image of the temple like an intermittent light, as a camp for the spirit, as the clear one in the forest to the wait of the errant parish.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho. phD Architect
Madrid. September 2014.
Author of the Parráfos de arquitectura. #arquiParrafos

1. Pehnt, Wolfgang, “Gottfried Böhm“, Basel. Birkhäuser, 1999, págs. 90-91
2. Church of peregrination Our Lady of the Victory, Opfenbach-Wigratzbad, Allgäu, Gottfried Böhm and Michael Eberlein, 1972-76.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

Doctor en Arquitectura, Decano de la Facultad de Tecnología y Ciencia UCJC. Presidente de la Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura,  perteneciente al Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España. Director de MADC Arquitectos, estudio profesional con premios en concursos nacionales e internacionales, en la actualidad desarrolla proyectos en España y Noruega. Escritor y crítico de arquitectura, es autor de los libros “Párrafos de Arquitectura. Core(oh)grafías” (2016) y “Arquitectura y Cambio Climático” (2018).

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