The existence of comprehensive historical sources allows for the reconstruction of the Garrison Church’s original architecture, carried out with historical construction techniques and by use of authentic material (i.e. bricks and mortar). That way, Philip Gerlach’s magnum opus of Prussian baroque may be reconstructed in all its innate beauty.
Site inspections have shown that the remains of the original base are no longer sustainable. Therefore a new base plate will be laid above the remains of the old one, preserving the initial groundwork. A deep foundation consisting of 38 drilled piles will be installed, with each pile reaching a length of 37 metres. 14 of these will be activated with geothermal energy via special sensors. This will lead to considerable reductions of both carbon dioxide emissions and consumption of primary energy.
Planning for the interior layout and setting happens in consideration of the rooms' future purpose of utilization. The technical and spatial configuration conforms to today’s requirements and specifications. All levels are handicapped accessible via an elevator.
It even reaches the observation deck at 60 metres high. There, visitors are offered an exceptional panorama of the city. Above the observation deck and beneath the roof a carillon will be installed, whose melodies will be heard all over Potsdam. Estimated costs for the first stage of construction (spire) are at 38 million Euros.
From 2011 to 2014, the planning process has been funded by the federal state of Brandenburg and the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media (Bundesbeauftragte für Kultur und Medien).
The exterior construction of the tower, as part of the first stage of construction, conforms entirely to the historical records of the church. After the outline planning, a room programme is intended, which corresponds to the building’s multi-purpose as a church, a place for remembrance and a centre of education.
The rooms marked in red are intended to serve as an exhibition space of about 300 square metres, where essential historical themes shall be picked up and presented. This will invite the visitors to deepen their engagement with the history of this place.
The story below the exhibition space (marked in yellow) will host two seminar rooms in which the content of the exhibition as well as other points of discussion can be examined further. An emphasis will lie on the education of young people in a European context. The educational focus will be supported by a particular library.
An elevator as well as a spiral staircase connect the lower stories with the observation deck (marked in light blue). The carillon is located above the deck. At ground-floor level, there will be the entrance and shop to the right, as well as a coffee shop on the opposite side (marked in blue).
The new chapel will serve as a place to remind us of our Christian responsibility for a peaceful community. This oratory (marked in green) will be complemented by adjoining rooms such as a sacristy and two offices for the pastors.