Centre for Architecture Theory Criticism History
School of Architecture

Sven Sterken shares the outcomes of ATCH Visiting Fellowship

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The original aim of Sven's stay at UQ was to look into the archives of Catholic Archbishop James Duhig, one of the most prolific church builders in Australia. Access to the archives proved impossible however, as the archive was being relocated. While this was to be completed prior to Sven's arrival, it unfortunately was not.  The impossibility to work on Duhig opened up the opportunity to study the work of Karl Langer, an Austrian architect who produced a vast body of work in Queensland and beyond, including church buildings, both built and unbuilt. Together with ATCH's HDR student Lisa Daunt, Sven looked into this part of his oeuvre at the Fryer Library and State Library Queensland. 

During his stay at ATCH, Sven also undertook several field trips accross Brisbane visiting remarkable church buildings and better understanding the geographical situation and the suburban context in which these buildings sit. Together with ATCH Fellow Janina Gosseye, Sven contributed to a seminar on modern religious architecture in Australia, which resulted in the symposium convened by Lisa and Prof Philip Goad (University of Melbourne): Constructing Religious Territories: Community, Identity and Agency in Australia's Modern Religious Architecture. 

During his stay, Sven was also invited to give a lecture at the Sydney headquarters of ACN Australia (Aid to the Church in Need), which is the global organisation that expanded from the so-called Chapel Truck Mission, on 22 August. On occasion of his talk "The Chapel Truck Mission in Post-War Germany," Sven was interviewed by Catholic Leader (Brisbane) and Catholic Weekly (Sydney).

Sven had several conversations with almost every ATCH member, finding shared interested that may lead to further collaborations and outputs in the future.