Father Rupert Mayer House

Mons (Belgium)

Renovation and extension for the German-speaking Catholic chaplaincy at NATO headquarters

In the course of the renovation of the existing buildings, a new area with barrier-free access is to be added to the historic complex. The event area for up to 400 people is to be brought up to current building and safety standards. A special focus is the care of the families of the German-speaking employees of all denominations working at the nearby NATO headquarters SHAPE, for which new spatial offers will be created.

Location

In addition to its locations in Germany, the Catholic Military Chaplaincy has contact points for soldiers throughout Europe and worldwide.

The German Catholic Military Parish Office Belgium is based in Mons, where the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (Surpreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SHAPE for short) is also stationed.

The tasks of the Catholic military chaplaincy include not only caring for the soldiers on deployment, but also supporting the families and relatives in the barracks at home. The work of the military chaplaincy takes place primarily in joint church services, but also in encounter weekends or days of reflection. For soldiers in crisis areas, there are also telephone or video conversations with pastors and chaplains in addition to the local church services.

The Father Rupert Meyer House

The existing building at the Mons site was built in the 1960s and is now in urgent need of renovation. The existing building shows clear deficits for use by the military chaplaincy and its events for the soldiers, but also for family-friendly use and for larger church services and events.

In a joint consultation process, the local community and the representatives of the Catholic Military Bishop decided to partially demolish the existing building and replace it with a contemporary extension. Only the parish hall, which is still in good condition, is to be preserved and included in the new building.

During the planning phase, D:4 placed particular emphasis on the functional integration of the existing hall area and the associated chapel. The new building is architecturally and in its materiality oriented to the existing building, but expands it with the clarity and transparency of a modern building clearly focused on its use by the community.

The extension as well as the outdoor facilities and the access route are designed to be barrier-free and family-friendly.