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Böhm, Dominikus

Böhm, Dominikus (1880–1955). Born in Jettingen, near Ulm, Böhm was an important C20 architect of churches in Germany. His early designs had references to historical styles, but from the 1920s, although his plans remained conventional, his work contained first Expressionist elements and then abstract Gothic (as in the Freilingsdorf Parish Church, near Cologne (1926–7)). Perhaps one of his best buildings is the Church of St Johann, Neu-Ulm (1921–7), with its banded façade of brick and stone, and squat centrepiece pierced by three pointed arches. He experimented with centralized planning in order to bring the congregation nearer the altar, using an elliptical or circular plan, thus anticipating liturgical changes made in RC worship by the Second Vatican Council (1962–5). Among his other buildings St Engelbert, Köln-Riehl (1930–3), and St Maria-Königin, Köln-Marienburg (1951–4), may be cited. From 1928 his buildings became more Modernist in character, but he fell into disfavour under the Nazis. After 1945 he and his son Gottfried restored damaged churches and built many new ones.

Bibliography

Habbel (ed.) (1943);
Hoff et al . (1962);
Maguire & and Murray (1965);
Stalling (1974)

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Böhm, Dominikus

Dominikus Böhm (dômē´nĬkŏŏs böm), 1880–1955, German architect. The widely varied styles of Catholic churches designed by Böhm have strongly influenced 20th-century ecclesiastical architecture in Europe and America. The Gothic fantasia of the War Memorial Church in Neu-Ulm (1923) and the simple parabolic vaulting of the church at Bischofsheim (1925) are examples of his expressionist period. By 1929, Böhm had achieved a rectangular simplicity in design as, e.g., in the church of Maria Königin at Marienburg outside Cologne (1954). Sankt Engelbert, Cologne-Riehl (1931–33), with its circular plan and paraboloid vaulting, is perhaps Böhm's finest work.

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