Experience the Architecture of a Sculptural Icon
Everyone marveled under the soaring curvature of Charles Haertling’s hyperbolic parabaloid-topped house of worship, Saint Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Northglenn. Denver Modernism Week and Northglenn Historic Preservation Foundation collaborated to celebrate the architecture and history of this expressive mid-century icon, and to recognize its recent listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Newly added to the National Register of Historic Places, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Northglenn! 🙌 ⛪
This beautiful building was completed in 1964, and is an exceptional example of mid-century Neo-Expressionist architecture and post-World War II thin-shell concrete engineering techniques. Designed by Boulder-based master architect Charles A. Haertling, St. Stephens uses an inverted vaulted thin-shell roof, which gives the swooping effect of a lily bloom. Haertling designed many buildings in the Boulder area, but this church is a beautiful representation of the use of expressive lines and abstracted shapes in architecture.
More places to see photos and read about Haertling and St. Stephen's.
The Once and Future Architect of Boulder
The Charles A. Haertling Foundation:
Boulder Public Library – Carnegie Library for Local History:
This is a 66 minute silent video. The portion of the video for the St. Stephen's Lutheran Church building begins at time mark 1:00 and goes through 30:15.
"The design process is one of painful exhilaration where one gives ultimate importance to the problem being solved, letting the problem itself be an integrated solution which uses materials and structure void of distortion of uses untrue to the nature of the material or process, testing the boundaries of the application so as to give excitement, variety, adventure, human interest, & human relation to the project."¬―Charles A. Haertling Architect
"Design Process of Charles A. Haertling Architect" is a silent 16mm film centered on Charles Haertling's restored 8mm construction motion pictures. Joel Haertling has edited these and inter-spliced additional footage of the architect's concept sketches, models, line drawings and completed structures. Those interested in Charles Haertling's organic architecture are visually guided through successive stages of conception, and design & construction innovations as filmmaker and viewer pieced together episodes of the creative process. A mental construct of Charles Haertling's application of design theory to the practical task of building facilitate a greater appreciation for his architecture.
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church (1963) at 10828 Huron in Northglenn, Colorado has an experimental centenary-shaped beam construction and receives the most extensive analysis. Included is a series of inter-titles of technical explanations.
The Warburton house (1964) in Gold Hill, Colorado was inspired by a Yucca pod. This sequence pieces together the original feeling of the house before additions were made to the stand-alone structure.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church (1962) at 915 E. 9th Ave. in Denver, Colorado has a design based on a series of isosceles triangles. Motion pictures of the assembly of the inverted roof structure are combined with interior and original exterior footage of the finished structure just weeks before devastating remodeling.
The Brenton house (1971) on Maxwell Lake in Boulder, Colorado was inspired by the form of barnacles. The structure is made of polyurethane foam sprayed on a rebar skeleton.
The Menkick house (1971) on Green Rock Drive in Boulder, Colorado is built on a spectacular site with a large rock outcropping. This part of the motion picture titled "One With Nature" was shot in 1976 by Joel Haertling before major devastating renovations were made in the 1980s & undertakes a study of the building and its relation to the site.
St. Stephen's 58th Anniversary Celebration