Built of wood and stone, the floor plan of the old Lourdes chapel was used as a basis. The building’s design adopts the historical traditions of Bregenzerwald building culture while also daring to create a new spatial form. The chapel, designed by Bernardo Bader, resulted from a creative process of planning and building, which was shaped by an extraordinary collaboration between the citizens of Krumbach, the craftsmen and the architect. The simple basic form, which comprises a nave and an apse, is based on an almost identical floor plan to that of the more than 200-year-old existing building. The spatial form, a steeply rising wooden triangle that rises up from the terrain, is new. Lacking a classic church tower, the chapel’s significance and symbolism are in keeping with the location and the theme. The interior is dominated by the uniformity of the walls and roof and the bright frontal light, which lends the room a special atmosphere. The statue of the Virgin Mary, which was taken from the original building, is not arranged in the centre, as in classical concepts, but rather at the side. The view to the front through the white apse remains unobstructed and leads directly out into nature. A book about the construction of the chapel was made and is available in the chapel and in the municipal office. The chapel can be reached on foot from the village centre in about 20 minutes. Note: There are no parking facilities at the chapel!
The Salgenreute Chapel was awarded the “Chicago Athenaeum – The International Architecture Award 2017.” Since 2004, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, has honoured the best and most significant new buildings around the world with the “International Architecture Awards.” In the United States, more than a thousand projects from 74 different countries were evaluated.