ST 2022 | Vorstadtikone© Anina Janich
Vorstadtikone – St. Hubertus by Gottfried Böhm. Visiting the "Backenzahn"
At the foot of Aachen's Kronenberg there is the church of St. Hubertus, completed in 1964 – an architectural gem designed by Gottfried Böhm. Once a lively quarter church, the building, sometimes popularly referred to as the "Backenzahn", is in today's times rarely used. The Chair of Architectural History devoted two entire semesters to this "Vorstadtikone" in the form of a combinatorial design and student research / exhibition project.
First, the participating students developed five concepts for use and design worthy of discussion, showing how this place, once thought of as a quarter entrée, could once again become a lively point of interest. In a second part of the project, with the help of agile methods, they developed, announced and realized an exhibition about the St. Hubertus in and around the Church itself.
The aim of the exhibition was, besides showing the results of the above-mentioned design project, to create an awareness, even an appreciation, for this rather unknown building which is – above all – perhaps also “misunderstood” due to its extraordinary, yet peculiar architectural language.
The exhibition and guidance system developed by the students was both creative and sustainable at the same time: They built a kind of station path from shelves purchased second-hand from a well-known Swedish furniture manufacturer, which led through and around the church and provided information in a variety of multi-media ways about the (in some cases certainly surprising) peculiarities of the church building and its architectural history. The individual stations illustrated, for example, whether and to what extent changes had been made at the corresponding points compared to Gottfried Böhm's original planning. Ultimately, it was the Church building itself that became the exhibit on a scale of 1:1. Large-scale projections of three self-produced films and interviews about St. Hubertus, parts of the original slate cladding to "touch" as well as an exhibition guide supplemented the station path.
The exhibition "Vorstadtikone" was sustainable in at least a triple sense: The shelf elements of the station path were resold after the exhibition ended and thus returned to their original use - almost a "zero waste" concept. The exhibition content on the other hand generated a lasting public interest in the Church and its future. And the net income of the entire project in the amount of € 1070.70 was donated to the Aachen Children's, Youth and Family Center "Maria im Tann" – another sustainable "plus" for a really good cause.
Selected Design Project Results
can be found here
Student Project Team
Fiona Cordes, Lara Draschoff, Hana ElKabbany, Wenyi Kang, Sijia Li, Franziska Müller, Annika Reichstein, Britta Schebesta, Aliena Werkes
Project Idea and Supervision
The Architecture of the "Vorstadtikone"
This short film about the architecture of the "Vorstadtikone" was created as part of our homonymous exhibition about the church St. Hubertus by Gottfried Böhm in Aachen. We would like to thank the parish of St. Hubertus for the opportunity to host the exhibition in their church.
A Conversation with Paul Böhm
The film "A Conversation with Paul Böhm" was produced as part of our exhibition "Vorstadtikone". We would like to thank Prof. Paul Böhm for his willingness to host us for an interview.
Faces of the Kronenberg
The film "Faces of the Kronenberg" was produced as part of the exhibition "Vorstadtikone". We would like to thank Doris Brück, Anette Clahsen, Frank Dillmann and Hannah Rosenstein for their willingness to share their impressions with us.