From a sketch on a bus trip to Bergen, Geilo’s church rose.
Most of us connect a church building with a classic, oblong construction with a longship and a choir all the way. Everything is located in an east west direction, and with a church spire that strives toward the sky. Several modern church buildings are designed in a completely different way. And Geilo Church is one of those that appears to be one of the most obvious examples of the new way of thinking about church buildings.
– There are many who think geometry is the language of the divine, says civil architect Jorunn Westad Brusletto in W & B Architects AS to click. no.
When they designed Geilo Church, they took the starting point of the idea of the meeting between heaven and earth, God and humanity.
A large number of church buildings have been built in the 2000s, partly as a result of church fires in the 1990s. Some have got a traditional design, located where the old church stood and and with the touch of local construction.
However, many of the new church buildings are shaped over a freer composition, with more or less sculptural touch.
“A new and exciting tendency is closer cooperation between architect and artist, so that the building structure and art melt together into an integrated whole”, it is written in the church building database, church closet. no.
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The oblique cone shape ending in the tower is intended as a tribute to the idea that geometry is the language of the divine, and the whole verticality helps to pull the eye upwards.
– The fan-shaped roof that twists upwards in a spiral motion does not seem like a dome or vault, but rather as a movement that opens up to the sky, says Westad Brusletto.
According to Westad Brusletto, it was a clear goal for Hol Kirkes Joint Council as the principal that the church should be a cultural venue.
– This meant that the rooms, except the church room, should be life-neutral. In the design, it was therefore important to create good rooms for the public and employees, she explains.
The church is built around a steel skeleton, which meets at a point 100 meters above the ground. This skeleton is supplemented with lacquered columns and clad with a standing panel of malmfuru. This contrasts with the resting panel on the building by the way.
Universal design and environmentally sound design has been central to the design of the project. It has been used renewable resources wherever possible and materials that require the least possible surface treatment. Therefore, among other things, water-heating has been built to be connected to a district heating system.
Living use of the church room
Vardåsen church in Asker outside Oslo was completed in 2004, built in a wall and awarded the same architectural prize Betongtavlen.
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Instead of a strictly centralized design, the architects wanted to give the church a more free form expression.
– This was done to create a more vivid use of the church, says civil architect Terje Grønmo in the architectural office with the same name.
The office put work in reducing the tools and contrasts for the benefit of peace and coherence.
The dominant and prominent symbol-bearing element of the building is the bell tower and a curved front wall with deep lightnings reflecting the altar’s position, explains Grønmo.
A very central part of the architectural expression is a light incident that creates a variation in how interior and shape are perceived.
The main building of the church building is light gray-brick masonry in bricks combined with light-colored concrete as a load-bearing construction.
In the church there is also a kindergarten integrated and together with a nearby school, the church makes up a local community center.
Place of contemplation
Vestfossen church was built in 2010 and it was a work church. It lies on a plain just south of Vestfossen and is a distinct landmark. The building material is brick, and it was designed by the Architectural Company.
– The location of the building in the landscape, the bell tower and the church’s tall, round roof is a response to the wish that it should be a landmark. The location is also a response to the church in the middle of everyday life, with the possibility of contemplation, explains civil architect Bjarte Ågedal to the click. no.
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The church room in Vestfossen church has been given a circular form because it wanted it to be a community and gathering about the central. Therefore the seats are removable and can be grouped as desired and needed.
The roof is held by 12 freestanding columns exposed and detached from the rest of the building.
– The pillars symbolize the twelve apostles, and make up the fixed, immutable elements of the room. In addition, the massive brick walls and the roof round the room give a timeless expression, a place of contemplation, silence, immersion and intercourse, explains Ågedal, who says that the church is planned and projected with ambitions for a high qualitative level in terms of design and execution. Therefore, aesthetics and technical good solutions were placed very much.
High bell tower as landscape marker
The charming church outside Bergen was completed in 2001 and was designed by the Lille Frøen Architectural Office. The church is built in a wall.
When designing the church, they had to take into account their location right at a larger sports ground.
Our idea for the location of the church building was therefore to use the building to form a sheltered outdoor space to the south. Together with the beautiful wooded crusade to the east and the hillsides to the southwest, a sunny and climatically sheltered entrance was created that could accommodate a church tray in front of the main entrance, explains civil architect Nikolai Alfsen to the click. no.
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The architects wanted to create a procession church with a right-wing church ship with long-hauling rights.
– We solved this by constructing an elongated and tall main ship with a lower sidecar to the south, Alfsen expands..
And to place the church clearly in the landscape, it was given a high-rise bell tower.
– The tower was designed as high as possible, so it is part of a remote effect from the main road.
Naturally, it is the church room which is the central room of the church, and this architect has also emphasized on size, design and detailing.
– This is also emphasized by the fact that the artistic ornamentation is concentrated to the wall of the wall, which is wholly masonry. Søren Ubisch has created a beautiful and refined foundation wall using stained glassed copper and glass prisms, says Alfsen.
Handsome resources gave architectural freedom
Mortensrud Church in Oslo belongs to one of the most renowned and portrayed churches in the country. It was completed in 2002. Its facade-like main elements are glass and slate stone, with a partially exposed bell tower in wood in the corner of the building body.
The church is carefully placed between pine trees and on top of a small hill of mountains. This is done without the use of dynamite, just by scratching away the soil layer.
– In this way, we believe the experience of the church has got an extra dimension, explains Jan Olav Jensen to the click. no. He is an architectural professor at the Academy of Architects and General Manager of Jensen&Skodvin Arkitektkontor AS, who designed the church.
The church’s skeleton is formed of a steel structure with a stone wall that carries the roof. The wall is built without mortar, which allows the light to enter the church room. On the stone wall there is a glass facade.
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Mortensrud Church grew out of a situation where there were many perceptions and opinions about the design, but where the topography and location nevertheless became a collecting element.
– In a project with many wills and wishes, it has been helpful to have a complex landscape and difficult topography to relate to because it has focused the forces and overall will, Jensen expands.
The budget of the building was very tight, and according to architects, the square meter price is the same as that for social housing in Oslo.
– To create this church, we understood that we had to use every opportunity we could get for the most of the scarce funds, explains Jensen.
– But quite surprisingly, we found out again that this scarcity gave us much greater architectural freedom.
The landscape gave inspiration
Frøyland and Orstad Church were completed in 2008, and according to architecture. no the first universally designed church in Norway. The church is located in Klepp municipality and is designed by Link Architecture.
“At the start of this project, an important decision was taken in Time City Council:” Church shall be built in accordance with the Universal Design Principle. People should be able to go for a walk, to die childhood, to marry and confirm themselves, whether they are orienteering or emotional, and without special action for them, “writes architecture. no about the principle of universal design.
The architects gained their inspiration from the outside landscape.
– The church is part of the landscape. Engrave the terrain, and the roof appears as an extension of the landscape, says the project manager for the building, architect René de Groot, to click. no.
– The church room is also designed as a landscape. The floor is terraced and the edges grow up like a stair landscape. The tightness of the floor is in contrast to the ceiling that appears like a rolling sky. One comes close to it on arrival, while it stretches dramatically upward further into the church.
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According to architecture. no, Frøyland and Orstad Church are a classical church of all kinds. “In addition to ordinary worship services, church buildings are used for concerts, cafes, weddings and other gatherings”, they write.
– The outdoor area is designed as an activity landscape, and the outdoor community can be an active room for many parts of the year for different events. In addition, sport activities and games are facilitated, they de-elaborate, telling them that they have deliberately worked on the light incident.
– At the altarpiece and the prayer room, the wall is displaced past the main wall. Thus, side lights are led from a world outside in places with a high sacred presence. From the outside it was desired that the light emanation should describe the shape of the church.
In spite of its untraditional form, the architects wanted the church to showcase relationships with traditional church buildings.
– The arrival of the church takes place through a tight east-west axis that guides people in a good and worthy way from the parking and into the church, and as in old churches one goes through the tower on the way into. The ax is passed through a sort of church square into the large central church room.
“The church is characterized by the fact that the designers and artists have been given the opportunity to create tailored, integrated solutions tailored to the specific building and individual needs”, describes architecture. no.
Respect for plot qualities
The country’s newest church is found at Bøler in Oslo. Bøler’s new church was wedged in 2011 by Bishop Ole Kristian Kvarme. It is rectangular in its form and designed by Hansen & Bjørndal Architects.
The church extends across the falling terrain and places the most important functions either on a raised plateau, on existing terrain or partially buried in the terrain.
The draft of the church was in its turn contributed to an internationally announced competition, and the jury stated, among other things, the following: “The proposal respects the qualities of the land and exploits the falling nature of the terrain by partially digging down. The project shows good understanding of the place and respect for Bølger’s scale “.
According to civil architect Jostein Bjørndal, the large and important rooms are given free frames vertically and are covered with copper.
– The halls are linked to a process case that also gives a visual bond when all the doors are opened. While the side wings, which collide and bind the plant together, contain administration and support functions, and are made in bricks.
In the lower floor there are kindergarten, youth club and technical rooms.
– We had to make room where it did not exist
The church’s sidewalls are made of glass where the room is not bounded by brick walls. On the inside side of the church hall are wooden slats installed. These should prevent sunlight from shining, regulating daylight and ensuring good acoustic conditions.
– The vegetation shines and forms a backdrop where the different seasons create variety. At the end of the procession there is a raised podium for the table and reading room. The sloping floor that emerges from the main shape forms a natural rise for cows.
Thomas Hestvold, Barbro Raen Thommassen and Benedikte Wedseth stand for the artistic decoration of the church, while Lars Hole, in collaboration with the architect, designed the furniture in the church hall.
– The plant consists of a base that lifts the church room and intersects in terrain while the side wings are made of supporting tiles, explains Bjørndal.
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