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One of the most idiosyncratic church buildings in Switzerland stands in Cazis: the stone church with its three elements reminiscent of glacier-shaped rocks makes the viewer notice - and think about topics such as security, space and warmth. But the building by architect Werner Schmidt from Trun is still unfinished.
The stone church of Cazis has an eventful history behind it. In 1994, study contracts were commissioned for a new church building. In March 1995, the project by architect Werner Schmidt from Trun prevailed out of seven works received. This provided for three stone-shaped individual volumes, which can be separated by retractable walls, a connecting wing as a development between the existing rectory and the sacred rooms, as well as a free-standing tower.
In April 1996, the spectacular shell construction was started, with the participation of the specialist for shell construction Heinz Isler from Burgdorf. On the basis of a model template, 108 different wooden truss elements were produced. These were placed on the foundations like carvings of an orange, covered with a fine-meshed grid and then sprayed with shotcrete in thin layers until the wall thickness of about 15 cm was reached. In November 1996 the topping-out ceremony was celebrated and in the spring of 1997 the shell was completed. For cost reasons, the further construction had to be stopped for the time being. On a temporary wooden floor with emergency heating and emergency doors, the construction site was put into use as a church.
Security and freedom
The result was a lively cultural workshop with festive services, theatre, concerts, picture exhibitions and meditative events. After the financial situation could be brought under control thanks to various efforts, the new architect, Diederik Peper from Chur, continued. The interior fittings and the connecting wing were created. In July 2002, the church was consecrated and handed over to its purpose. Inside, the architecture conveys the feeling of security on the one hand and freedom on the other.
The layout of the rooms also knows no front and back. A fortiori, no up and down is predetermined. Freedom creates its space through the democratic structure. Every visitor has to get his or her own point of view, to take his or her own perspective on God and people. This is further enhanced by the location and shape of the windows. In the eastern stone the view goes to the sky, in the middle stone the horizon opens up to the viewer and in the western stone our view falls on the street, on the houses, on the people.
The bell tower is missing
Thus, this Church is not only an open Church for the people who are in the Church, but also for the people outside. Many stop unexpectedly - and they feel comfortable. In these rooms, no one is co-opted. The church is still unfinished. For the construction of the bell tower and a canopy at the entrance, about half a million francs are still missing.
April to September: Daily from 09.00 to 18.00.
October to March: Daily from 09.00 to 17.00.
Guided tour on request.
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