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Protestant Stiftskirche Stuttgart

“Light caves“ altar sculpture
2001- 2003
Bollinger-Lehholz sandstone (Switzerland)
105 x 170 x 152 cm, monolith
Weight approx. 4 tons

The Stiftskirche Stuttgart is the main church of the Evangelical state church in Württemberg and the city’s oldest church at the same time.
As part of the renovation of the Stiftskirche by the Hamburger architect, Bernhard Hirche in 2001, Holger Walter was awarded a contract to develop an autonomous sculpture which was to provide the space a powerful focus as the central main altar.
The result was an altar sculpture, whose elemental form unfolds its effect from the floor to all sides of the church’s space. The monolith was radically hollowed. This resulted in an open space in the stone which takes in light and music, and its surrounding area.
The altar sculpture forms a paradox of monumentality with transparence and lightness.
„...In the middle there is a powerful, stone table, which appears to have fallen from heaven to its present location and almost immovably defines the center of gravity for the room.
The altar sacrament here contains an unashamed presence, in the literal sense. ...
Such contrast, an archaic sacrificial alter in a protestant scripture church, surrounded by the worshippers as a type of sanctum in its own rite. But it still works.
What’s more, with his altar sculpture the Karlsruhe artist Holger Walter created a work points beyond its actual function.“

(Marcus Nitschke from the book “Stiftskirche Stuttgart – Architektur und Gegenwartskunst";
Publisher Verlag das Beispiel, Darmstadt 2004)

Client: Ev. Church of the City of Stuttgart
Stone / wire sawing J & A Kuster quarries Bäch / Switzerland
Paschal candle sculpture / bronze casting: Foundry Casper / Remchingen-Nöttingen
Mounting: Melchior Natursteinwerke / Freudental