Customer Project: St. Josef Parish Church in Holzkirchen, Germany

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The project St. Josef in Holzkirchen comprises the main church and a chapel which are connected by a common foyer with the sacristy. The foyer area and the sacristy were built as a reinforced concrete building. Main church and chapel are differently sized timber structures and take the form of inclined truncated cones with an elliptical footprint.

The engineers from Sailer Stepan Partner were in charge of the structural planning and used RSTAB to design the 3D structures.

The main church with a height of 21.6 m has an ellipticcal footprint with a diameter of about 34.5 m. A skylight consisting of a steel-glass construction builds the roof level.

The suspended visible shell structure is made of member-shaped glulam struts which each form triangles and thus have a supporting and at the same time stiffening function.

The nodal points of the triangles result from the intersection points of the fall lines of the cone with differently inclined section planes. This resulted in about 320 nodal points of which a maximum of two have the same, mirrored geometry. The elliptical rings located in the intersection planes are single, curved glulam beams provided with rigid site joints.

The diagonals which are mainly subjected to compression were modeled in RSTAB as compression members with failure under tension resistance. This allowed to optimize the nodal points in such a way that the normal forces of the diagonal members are only introduced by means of pressure contact. The structural fixing of the diagonals is carried out by means of equally distributed steel tension members between the rings.

All connections were created as hidden. They consist of steel in the rule nodes and fittings made of beech laminated veneer lumber in less stressed nodes.

Client: Archiepiscopal Chair of Munich


Structural Analysis: Sailer Stepan Partner GmbH |

Timberwork: Holzbau Amann GmbH |

Detailed Structural Analysis Alternative Proposals: sblumer ZT GmbH, Austria |

Photos and model: © by Sailer Stepan Partner GmbH © by Christoph Stepan


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  • Updated 04/03/2020

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