project: design of the second tower of St. Bartholomew church in Pilsen site: Pilsen /Czech Republic/ year: 2012 author: lukas cimprich 

The current trend is for people to lead their lives at a very fast pace indeed. Endless rushing and constant stress accompany us every day. We should therefore look for places where the pace of live is rather more peaceful. The starting point is being able to find peace wherever one can imagine it. I was looking for a new form of tower, as far as its base is concerned. I was not seeking to bring about a revolutionary shift in contemporary design. I tried to work with an expression that is bright, clean and has a solid foundation. I worked with humility and I tried to express simplicity and symbolism. The floor plan was created by modifying the basic shape of the base of the tower. I designed the height of the new tower to reach the height of an existing tower gallery. I did not want to beat the current tower. In so doing,  I let light permeate the openings and also allowed the sun to reach through into the internal space of the tower. I didn‘t want to lie to visitors by concealing  the structure of the tower under a skin. I wanted to be honest and show them the brutality of the materials of the tower. In the same way that an observer perceives the structure of the tower with his his eye from below, so he can perceive it haptically from within. The tower is a sort of connection between heaven and earth. At the entrance to the tower i allow the visitor a moment’s calm, before sending his gaze upwards to the sky and the stars. Peace occurs after he rests himself on the bench. I added a statue of St. Bartholomew into the interior of the tower. It is located in a niche in one of the walls which faces south towards Rome, where most of his remains rest today. The statue is possibly the work of the Pilsen sculptor, Václav Česák. I chose the lighting with a view to the needs of perceiving and experiencing the interior space. Three torches are firmly mounted on the walls. The visitor enters the space by a staircase leading from one of the four passages. The essence of the design was to create a symbol of the tower, which would through her form, carry her spiritual experiences to visitors, regardless of any prevailing trends to the contrary in current design.

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