Witness report during construction
A report during the construction of the church in the early 1930s:
Pastor Bernhard Teicke, who was involved in the construction of the tower and the building of the church on Hohenzollernplatz, reports: (Source: Chronicle of the church parish on Hohenzollernplatz)
(note: many of the elements described here were destroyed by heavy bombing in World War II)
The architect (later professor) Höger had a reputation as a specialist for clinker brick construction due to his building of the Chile House in Hamburg, the Naval monument in Laboe and a northern German town hall. For Höger, building a clinker brick church was a dream come true and he was very happy to be appointed the architect of the church at Hohenzollernplatz in 1928.
It took a while, however, until the foundations for this church could be laid on September 30, 1930, and the long-planned construction project was begun. The difficulties laid partly in the small size of the plot of only 2447 square meters: how to fit the church, parish hall with confirmation and club rooms, nurses' station, youth hostel and six apartments for clergy and church employees. The available space proved to be too narrow.
The architect therefore moved the community hall a few meters semi-underground beneath the church. As a result, the main building gained in height, so that he mastered the surrounding four-storey houses effortlessly. In order to bring the length into harmony with this particular height, Höger designed an interesting solution by giving the sides of the nave a particularly fine structure, interspersing countless narrow windows and pillars next to each other.
He was also able to use this delicate motif for the two stairwells that rise to the right and left of the main entrance like two huge pillars. The flank walls of the nave thus run over the same and return in a semicircle to the simple solid body of the nave again, opening up and awakening in the viewer a feeling of infinity. The nave is supported by 13 closely-spaced ferro-concrete trusses, which converge in a pointed arch shape. The construction was carried out in Oldenburg clinker bricks, which, by the nature of their design - two short, one long - already create a mosaic effect, which has been enhanced by the use of gold clinker, which runs through the building like a lace fabric.
The three blue-red-golden glass windows in the altar do not look like light sources but like tapestries. Here, too, a motif of infinity has been achieved in the windows above the altar as the arch continues invisibly over a large groove. This horizontal part of the windows is almost completely glazed. Thus, from upon high, a strong sheaf of light meets the earthly heavy, free-floating, large metal cross (from Duranagold) and the elongated stone table altar with its mosaic décor.
In general, light was used as a building material in the construction of this church in an excellent way. We see the whole room flooded with light, almost in a gothic spirit. This comes from two rows of lamps that downcast a warm tinted light and upcast a cool light that is filtered through snow-colored glass, so that the height of the room is accentuated with an other-worldly light effect. The gigantic proportion of the church space is further increased by light.
And that is only the apse! The walls are clad in turquoise blue glazed ceramics. The height seems to be infinite because the space above the triumphal arch shoots up to 20 meters. The blue of the apse is hidden behind the triumphal arch in the evening illumination through hidden festoon lamps – accentuating the mystic quality of light! Thus, the sanctuary receives its mysterious language through the light.
The heightening of the architecture is also served by the "paintings". Beneath the towering windows of the central nave, divided into ten panels, are expressive, stylized figures, groups of devout contemporary human forms, designed by Professor Sandkuhl, executed in traditional sgraffiti technique. The images were carved into the fresh plaster of the walls. The figures strive from both sides up to the last 20 meter high final arch, behind which the altar room spreads. This apse arch was adorned with a sgraffito mosaic by the Berlin painter Erich Waske: 72 figures listening to the Sermon on the Mount, rising in golden, gray-blue hues in a rousing rhythm to the glowing golden image of a blessing Christ.
Also noteworthy are the altarpieces of the church: For the first time, these elements have been made in amber by the state amber manufactory in Königsberg