Sunday, October 01, 2006

Architectural Moment: Asamkirche, Munchen

The Church of St. John Nepomunk (better known by it's popular title, the Asamkirche) was designed by the two Asam brothers, Cosmas and Egid and built as their personal chapel between 1733 and 1746. The Asam brothers, Cosmas in painting and Egid the sculptor (and both were architects of this structure), were pre-eminent practitioners of the highly imaginative late Baroque and Rococo practiced in 18th century Southern Germany.

The tiny Asamkirche was their private chapel, attached to Egid's personal home. Beyond it's literal seeming-riot of decoration, the Asamkirche is a cornucopia of the late Baroque's ability to manipulate illusion and space to produce unprecedented effects. The Asamkirche manipulates our expectations trained by our experiences with other churches and buildings and cleverly exploits those expectations to confound our spatial sense.


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