Address: Röntgenstraße 81, 38440 Wolfsburg, Germany Open Google map
Entrance fee: Free entry
Themes: Churches, Cultural buildings
The complex consists of the Heilig-Geist-Kirche (Church of the Holy Ghost), a bell tower, a parish building, a vicarage, and a kindergarten. The buildings form a tightly-knit group, that turns its back on the surrounding area, and is articulated around an inner courtyard area. Aalto started working on the project in January 1960, drawing from the main principles of his earlier project for the Danish international church competition of 1958.
Wolfsburg church was opened for the public in 1962. The most conspicuous feature of the church is the vault, which soars from the ground behind the altar to form the roof. In the wedge-shaped interior, the vault is marked by five emphatic strips of wooden slats extending fan-like to cover the whole ceiling. The primary reason for this roof structure is in the acoustics, but it is also meant to symbolise a hand that protects churchgoers.
The church also has unusual-shaped side windows reaching up to the ceiling. These windows distribute morning and afternoon sunlight in such a way that it does not directly reach the pews. To the right of the altar there is also a pentagonal baptistery capped by a lantern that appears from the outside as a copper-clad tower. The 32-meter-high bell tower of the church consists of two parallel vertical concrete planks with four shelves between them, each supporting one bell.
The parish centre is a fan-shaped single-storey building with two rooms for confirmation classes, a large assembly hall, a meeting room, a club room, and a kitchen, all grouped around a common atrium. The vicarage, a long, rectangular building one and a half storeys high, contains offices and four apartments for the vicar, the chaplain, the precentor, and the parish nurse.
The Wolfsburg church and the parish building. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
The most striking feature of Wolfsburg Church is its vaulted ceiling. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
The complex consists of the Heilig-Geist-Kirche (Church of the Holy Ghost), a bell tower, a parish building, a vicarage, and a kindergarten. The buildings form a tightly-knit group, that turns its back on the surrounding area, creating a courtyard complex within.
Destination on the map
1. Wolfsburg church (Heilig-Geist-Kirche) and the parish centre
Information for visitors
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Arriving to Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg is located approximately 230 kilometres from the capital of Germany, Berlin. From Helsinki to Berlin there are several flight connections daily. From Berlin to Wolfsburg there is a good train connection and the travel time is around 1 hour. Distance between Wolfsburg railway station and the Wolfsburg church is approximately 3 km. For information about public transportation in Wolfsburg, please click on this link.