Espen Surnevik Architects collaborated with Trodahl Architects to design a geometric and porcelain-clad church in Porsgrunn, Norway. Surnevik’s modern church replaced Porsgrunn’s 18th-century church which was destroyed in a fire in 2011.
Surnevik aimed to create a modern church suitable for the 21st century, but with an appearance to the previous building and a broader history of religious architecture. The church carries 11 different geometric blocks arranged in height based on their importance.
Designed to draw attention to the building, the minaret is the tallest, followed by a pair of chapels at the foot. Six short structures surround the main hall of the church, containing other rooms including the sacristy and organ, while the shortest sized spaces are at the rear of the building. Each form is slanted to match the angle of inclination of the apex of 3.3 degrees.
The new church was built on top of the old building that burned down with the texture and white color of the lost church. The entire exterior and much of the interior of the building are clad in porcelain, a material produced in the city during the 20th century.
Okimene Church (Indonesia)
Jakarta-based TSDS Interior Architecture built a church for workers on a rubber plantation in Sajau, Indonesia, using leftover wood from neighboring localities. The interior and architecture studio chose to complete the entire structure, along with the exterior and interior facades, from wood to create a unified architectural appearance for the church.
Built as part of the corporate responsibility program of Indonesian rubber grower PT.KMS, the church is made from Bangkirai, Kapur, Meranti and Rimba wood sourced from the local forestry industry.
The overall structure of the church is inspired by the shape of the traditional elongated houses of Rumah Betang on the island of Borneo, where the church was built. It has a large main hall with two small rooms for the pastor. At the back there is a mezzanine, designed for the use of musicians.
The interior walls and roof of the church, as well as its furniture, are all made from wood. Although the climate here can be extremely hot, the building is designed to be comfortable without artificial cooling. A raised roof is built to provide cross ventilation and the building is shielded with Rimba wood shingles.
St Georg’s Church (Germany)
German design firm Architektur3 added a triangular tower and lookout point at St Georg’s church in Bleibach, located at the intersection of three valleys in the Black Forest. The laminated wooden tower was designed as the last piece of the church, formed from a large hall in the 1970s.
Architektur3 designed the tower based on an equilateral triangle to highlight its location – the intersection of three valleys in the Black Forest. As well as being a recognizable landmark, the tower has a tall lookout point with the church bell at the top.
The public observatory, located below the bell, is led up by a triangular, spiral staircase located in the tower. The 33-meter-tall tower is built from local silver fir grafts with an Accoya coating.
Although the tower is based on a triangle, located at the meeting place of the three valleys and three is an important number in Christianity, the height of the tower is not included in the calculations to obtain this relationship.
Church of Castel di Lama (Italy)
Parma-based Contini Architettura has built a church, parish hall, and sports club around a new public square in the village of Castel di Lama, Italy. Contini Architettura drew on the arrangement of Italian media town centers to design the complex, which includes all religious and community buildings.
The church uses an advertising side with a vertical series of community houses. The other side was behind a row of steep stone columns with the other two sides covered by low walls.
The first of the community buildings was the 130-capacity education board. Next is a row house containing the text room, then a competitive sports field is a bar, and finally a replacement suite. Contini Architettura wanted to unite all the buildings through their model and by using a similar palette material.
The studio designed the church, marked as a stand-alone tower, to distinguish it as a religious company rather than a complex. The church stands behind a screen made of large blocks of travertine, with one wall providing views of the main building.
In the main frame of the church, a structural ellipse projects from the ceiling to the central client area. Four rooms in the building housed the fee court, chapel, sacrificial chamber, and the church’s toilets.