Kirche Maria Königin Obersalbach

Obersalbach-Kurhof, Heusweiler, Saarland, Germany


In 1997, Brian designed four stained glass windows for the new Catholic Church in Obersalbach, Filialkirche Maria Königin, designed by Peter Alt and Thomas Britz of Alt + Britz Architects, and consecrated in 1998.

"Outwardly, the church acts like a magnet that attracts attention even from afar and directs it inward, where the spirit finds reflection and rest. Inside the church, two crossed barrel vaults span an atrium-like space that is formed by a wooden, covered cloister. This defines an atrium in which the altar represents the spiritual center. The church area receives direct light on the one hand through a lantern-like opening in the vaulting and on the other hand from below through the entrance area behind the altar. These two different light sources are outshone by the four semicircular glass windows in the four outer walls that seem to shine out of themselves, designed by the world-famous London “light architect” Brian Clarke.Clarke has taken up the 'Ostung' of the building, which the architects consistently adhered to in accordance with old liturgical laws in church architecture, in its windows with the theme of the four seasons. Inwardly, they sparkle and shine in daylight, in the dark they appear to the outside through indirect lighting of the whitewashed vaults like beacons, which then emit their signal from the center of the village. Three hundred and fifty visitors find a seat in the church. There is the possibility of having a conversation with God or oneself in the light-flooded patio, in the dark security of the cloister or on the gallery running all around, or to experience the village community at Holy Mass." – Obersalbach-Kurhof 

"The building is also attracting great interest far beyond the borders of the Saarland. The Saarbrücken architects Peter Alt and Thomas Britz designed a compact building oriented towards the square of a cruciform church. Two crossed barrel vaults span an atrium-like interior, formed by a covered wooden cloister. The altar is almost in the center of the atrium. In addition to the central light dome in the middle of the vault, four windows shed their light into the church. The semicircular glass surfaces at the height of the 16 by 16 meter square building were designed by the world-famous London glass artist Brian Clarke. According to the four cardinal points of the outer walls, they take up the theme of the four seasons.– Trier Diocesan Gazette, 1998.

"Die Rundbogenfenster gestaltete der englische Künstler und „Lichtarchitekt“ Brian Clarke. Je den vier Himmelsrichtungen zugewandt, thematisieren sie die vier Jahreszeiten und verweisen zugleich abstrakt etwa auf Maria als Patronin von Kirche und Dorf sowie dessen Prägung durch Landwirtschaft und Kohlenabbau." – Deutsches Litergisches Institut, 'Straße der Moderne'.