M2.2: All around the church, Aachen-HörnCopyright: © städtebau
Winter Semester 2023/24
Duration: 2 semester
Due to the upcoming restructuring in the diocese of Aachen, in which the previous parishes and parish associations are to be merged into five pastoral areas in the city of Aachen, the question arises in many parishes as to how 'local church' can continue to take place and how the mostly centrally located parish-owned areas and real estate can be further used or converted as a contact point in the neighborhood.
The parish of St. Sebastian auf der Hörn has undertaken to develop a concept for the further development and conversion of the church environment and also for the church building in cooperation with the senior citizens' center 'Haus Hörn' and the diocese of Aachen. The development should be an essential building block for strengthening the neighborhood center on the Hörn and represent an upgrading of the entire location. The City of Aachen endorses and supports the initiative.
The Hörn district, located between Aachen's city center and the RWTH Campus Melaten, has two faces. On the one hand, it is characterized by loosened-up settlement structures from the early 20th century and, on the other hand, by the Hörn Campus of RWTH. Here, large-scale structures of the RWTH, the 'Haus Hörn' and the Hörn elementary school meet small-scale single-family and apartment house structures. The location of the church is exactly at the intersection of these very different structures and scales. The narrower plan area includes the parcels of land owned by the congregation. Here, in addition to the actual church building, is the parish home and two small residential buildings (Ahornstraße 51 and 53) which are partly inhabited by students and for some years have housed three U3 groups of the RWTH Aachen University. To the east of the church is the Oratory, a priestly living community, and the 'Philipp Neri Haus', an open youth day care center. All buildings except the church and the parish home are in need of major renovation and can either be integrated into the considerations and rebuilt, extended and built over, or demolished and replaced. As the main investor, Haus Hörn gGmbH would like to build various assisted living facilities for senior citizens at this location. In addition, the diocese and the municipality are interested in maintaining the location as a "local church" and in being able to offer the residents of Hörn various pastoral, charitable and social services. Presumably, however, such a large church building will no longer be needed for this purpose. The question will therefore be how to organize the 'local church' in a reduced form and at the same time open up and adapt the listed church building for other public or private uses.