• A Search for the Indefinite. Gottfried Böhm and the Pilgrimage Church "Mary, Queen of Peace"
    Steffen Kunkel
    Spector Books, 2022
    Steffen Kunkel

Gottfried Böhm, The Pilgrimage Church Mary Queen of Peace, 1963–72. Photo: Steffen Kunkel, 2015

The pilgrimage church Mary, Queen of Peace is widely regarded as Gottfried Böhm’s magnum opus and as a canonic work of twentieth-century architecture. Although the church itself has experienced worldwide reception, less known is that it was conceived as the integral crown of an entire pilgrimage district, designed by Böhm as an urban intervention—with kindergarten, pilgrim house, hostel, and other spaces ascending towards the church along a cascading pilgrimage path. Unlike previous studies, which have focused on the church itself, this is the first in-depth study of the church and the pilgrimage center in their context. Based on previously overlooked archival material, interviews with Böhm and his collaborators, and featuring a new series of photographs taken over a period of several years, this richly illustrated book not only closes gaps in our knowledge of this important work but also is a timely reassessment of Gottfried Böhm’s contributions to architecture.

Steffen Kunkel is an architect, photographer, designer, and assistant professor at the Chair for Building Typology at the Faculty of Architecture at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He wrote a doctoral thesis on the pilgrimage church Mary, Queen of Peace in Neviges by Gottfried Böhm. Since 2016 together with fellow architect Eleni Zaparta he owns his own practice noûs, focusing on social housing and educational building types. From 2014 to 2017 he taught at the Chair for Construction and Experimental Design and at the Chair for Design and Building Typology at Technical University of Darmstadt. From 2004 to 2013 he studied visual arts at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main, as well as architecture and urban planning at the Technical University in Darmstadt. Various works were discussed and shown in various daily newspapers, publications on architecture and were part of various exhibitions. He held lectures at different museums and universities.