Church of St. Lawrence

Lasa marble underlines the statement of the altar's design

With the consecration of the altar by the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the comprehensive renovation work for the Oberföhring parish church of St. Lawrence (St. Lorenz), which lasted several years, came to an end on 25 October 2020. Lasa Marmo supplied the raw material for the redesign of the altar and ambo of the parish church, which is located in the north-northeast of Munich on the right bank of the Isar. The two main pieces were made from two blocks of LASA marble by the sculptor Gregor Passens, who was born in Berchtesgaden in 1974 and lives in Munich and Buenos Aires (Argentina). He won an artist's competition previously announced by the parish council and the church administration.

The new ceremonial altar in the church, which was built between 1677 and 1680, created from a block of LASA marble, is designed as an ashlar styled monolithic block. It is divided horizontally by two unevenly running saw cuts. The altar, which is thus cut into three layers, represents a reference to the natural fault lines of the earth's history for the artist Gregor Passens, who carried out this work. Furthermore, the naturally designed layering of the altar is to be understood as a structure of cloud, river and landscape forms. The approximately 0.5 mm wide horizontal saw cuts were made with a diamond wire saw. The upper of the two saw cuts widens in the middle into a 10 cm square cross penetrating centrally through the entire altar block from front to back. A cavity is carved into this cross, the so-called sepulchre - a small container for relics. The top of the altar has been polished. In contrast to this are the rough sides as a "section of landscape - earth history - clouds" and other form-giving elements from nature. The front and back of the altar are sandblasted and function as a cross-section, thus allowing a view into the structure of the natural stone. At the same time, the ambo was also created as a solid piece of work made out of LASA marble. It rises as a square stele from a section of the choir steps and thus compensates for the different floor heights. The upper side of the ambo is slanted in the shape of a desk, the inside is provided with a niche on the left that is set in on two sides.

For the artist Gregor Passens, LASA marble is one of the highest quality natural stones in the world and underlines the content of the altar's design. The different machining forms - from rough broken surfaces to sandblasted and polished surfaces - give the bright altar great presence as the new focal point in the relatively dark choir of the church.

Project information

Oberföhring, Germany, 2020

Product: Altar and ambo

Surface: Splitted/sawn surface

Architect: Gregor Passens

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