Bobenheim-Roxheim, Germany | Glass, Metal | 5 panels @ 6’ x 12’ each | 2013
The church was built in 1898 and was extensively renovated in the 1960’s creating two very different and opposing aesthetics. Gordon’s objective was to blend these two aesthetics into one cohesive spiritual and architectural environment. In other words; building a bridge from past to present to future was subject matter and main challenge of this project.
Merging seemingly discordant aesthetics, Huether succeeded to create an art glass installation, which reflects the contemporary look and feel of the recently renovated interior of the church.
Awarded by the Bistum Speyer, Episcopalian Building Authority, Huether was commissioned to create complementing glass art elements for the chevet, more precisely the apsidiole for the St. Laurentius Church. The artist’s intent was to create a sense of cohesiveness, peace and harmony that would support the spiritual purpose of the space. Huether took on a quiet, monochromatic and restrained approach, and incorporated selected key architectural details and artifacts from the church into his overall concept.
One of the cues for the design was taken from the existing leaded glass windows, specifically the frames. The frames for the new art glass were visually extended by installing stainless steel structures directly on the wall beneath each window, creating a connection between the top of each arched leaded glass window, the altar and a person standing at ground level. These vertical elements not only visually connect the new glass with the old, they are also the structure that actually holds the new art glass.
Each of the three panels at the altar has a bronze triptych panel floating in front of them. Two wooden statues, Jesus and Maria, are placed on mounted pedestals in front of the remaining glass panels on either side of the altar. Huether also designed the tabernacle.
The installation was a collaboration between Huether and his trusted colleague and friend Sebastian Willeke from Germany. Huether designed the entire installation and Willeke took the lead in engineering, fabrication and installation of this project. Huether and Willeke have been working together for more than 20 years and have installed major projects in Germany and across the United States.
Using artifacts, existing motifs from the St. Laurentius church, and traditional materials such as glass and metal innovatively and at a scale complementary to the interior architecture of the church, Huether succeeded to create an art glass installation that acts as the bridge to create an aesthetically unified house of worship.