Detlef Hartung – Georg Trenz



public art






125 years Alexians Münster,
main entrance and watertower, Münster



Water is more than a symbolic element in Christian iconography. As an element in baptism it expresses a “Thanks for Life”. It marks the beginning and the cycle of life. It nourishes and appeases man and can destroy him. The hardest material can not resist its flexibility and softness. Many other Christian symbols are in relationship with water. The fish as a sign of Christ, or the water bird pelican, who as an ancient symbol feeds its young with blood, a different image for the self–sacrificing Christ, which today generally stands for the service to people in need.
The function of the water tower, the landmark of “House Cannen”, is made visible again marking the 125th anniversary of the building to the outside.


Terms of charity activity like helping and caring flow from bottom to top, from the main buildings to the top of the water tower. After having reached the peak of the tower they compress and new terms are flowing upwards. When the tower is filled this light field oscillates and ripples like the surface of water. The light–water flow becomes denser and more comprehensive. Finally, the whole tower is a sea of lights with terms of helping. A beacon of charity.
The floodgates are open. The tower empties, the water, the words flow back into the building of the Alexianers. The flow begins again.


Symbolically for the opening up and the work of the Alexians in society, key words of the Alexian basic principles spray as a fountain on the entrance façade. The entrance, built symmetrical to the pelican fountain, becomes the fructifying source of motifs and ideas of the fraternity of the Alexians.