Algard Church Link Arkitektur
A single structure rising up towards the sky, a humbling entryway- one look at the building gives away its identity as a church. The Algard Church in Norway, designed by Link Arkitektur is a refreshing take on church architecture that does not compromise on the purity and simplicity of its expression.
What it does not reveal is that the structure houses more than just the place of worship. The brief called for as many functions as possible under one roof. Link Arkitektur have modelled a unique space where the classrooms and offices have been lowered partially into the terrain so as to not disturb the sacred space. These form the ground floor of the structure defining the position of the church above as the center.
At the entrance and the pulpit, the structure slopes up, mimicking the terrain around, seemingly rising up from the ground. The intent of the architects and the wish of the congregation was to create an iconic sculpture that communicates the sanctity of the church. And a sculpture it does look indeed, with solid white surfaces and a smooth and elegant curvilinear slope.
The roof of the church is a vault structure made of exposed glulaminated beams. These beams form a network of triangles. Every alternate triangle is tilted upwards to allow light to enter through the roof resulting in “an optical refraction that is seen in traditional dome vaults”. The solid triangles have been designed with in-built LED lights. Glass columns along the altar further bring in daylight.
Through their design the architects have creatively fulfilled the requirements of the brief in every possible manner. The landscape has been designed to seamlessly merge the church with the surrounding countryside. A park separates the church from the cemetery which can be purposed as an amphitheater for sports, concerts and other activities.
By: Sahiba Gulati