With renovations completed at the parish church in Laives/Leifers, a new milestone in the history of contemporary South Tyrolean architecture was achieved. The exceptional building is a successful mix of historical and contemporary architecture, tastefully combining traditional construction methods and modern art. This extravagant construction is a masterpiece of modern architecture, impressing visitors from far and wide.
Laives parish church, which received a new wing and a unique new look in 2000, is located in the heart of the city. The asymmetric pyramid, the defining architectural feature of the unusual building, commands attention even from a great distance. The two architects Thomas Höller and Georg Klotzner from Merano/Meran were awarded the 2004 architecture prize for their harmonious project. The church, as it now stands, unites centuries of history. The bell tower, for example, dates back to 1250, while the building itself was constructed in 1852/53, and the futuristic new building was added in 2000. The addition, which is covered in bronze-coloured metal plates, and the existing sacred structure are detached from one another and connected “only” by self-supporting, load-bearing glass elements. The facade is composed of tombac with a thickness of 5 mm and is a world first. The inside of the building is also well worth a visit. The main church room is composed of light-coloured maple wood and appears both modern and friendly. The room rounds off the architecture of the varied building in a different, but well-suited tone. The unusual building style of Laives parish church is a welcome addition to contemporary architecture in South Tyrol.