Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, Hundven Clements Photography;courtesy v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
The new Community Church in Knarvik, Norway stands out for its distinctive and innovative character – an inspiring contextual beacon in the heath landscape…
Adapting to the existing hillside between built and natural environment, the new Community Church, located on the scenic west-coast of Norway north of Bergen, is built on a privileged site overlooking the cultural landscape and local town centre.
The Reiulf Ramstad Architects’ (RRA) designed church signals its function with a sacral dignity and recognizable form, where the church spire, sanctuary and chapel are emphasized by ascending roof planes. Inspired by the local tradition of Norwegian staves churches, the building utilizes clear and elemental geometries, materials and constructions.
The compact building volume is split into two stories on a rectangular plan, separating the sacred spaces above from the cultural and administrative functions below. An internal “church square” connects the two levels with an atrium stair into a continuous space, and may be joined or separated from the sanctuary with sliding glass walls to accommodate more than 500 people.
Wood is the key material of the project, expressed in the homogeneous cladding of pre-weathered pine heartwood and mirrored by the light-coloured pine finish on all interior surfaces. The building permits daylight into its volume through lancet-reminiscent tall and narrow windows, splayed in plan to maximise admittance and reduce glare. At night, the warm glow of the interior reveals the activities of its religious and cultural events.
The 2,250 sq. m. church on a total planning area of 15000 sq. m. aspires to provide a platform for a safe upbringing for children and youth, to become a local venue for gatherings and faith, and to facilitate art, music and cultural development. Its architectural expression, spatial solutions and materiality unites religion, culture and the site-specific context into a whole.
With this project, Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects (RRA) once again affirms their high level of expert knowledge and distinct ideology. Their strong conceptual approach and ground-breaking ideas reinstate their reputation as a firm creating bold, simple architecture with a strong context.