Photos courtesy of Hundven Clements Photography and LINK
Aalgaard is a small town north of Stavanger in Norway. The main design challenge was combining a significant number of functions under one roof. It required a classroom, an office, a café and areas for younger people, without negatively affecting the character or function of the Nave.
This was done by partially lowering the ground floor into the terrain, leaving the sacral space undisturbed on the upper floor.
The church’s structure is the result of combining a square and a triangle. Within Christianity the triangle symbolises the holy Trinity.
The square symbolises Earth, with the four corners of the world.
The main processional axis is placed diagonally to the square, dissecting the plaza, stairs, foyer, continuing into the Nave, and terminating at the Altar.
The wooden façade and the roof is finished in white resembling a tent canvas. This creates a light, pliable structure which is lifted to accentuate the entrance and allow natural light inside.
The roof’s triangular skylights are a modern inter- pretation of a traditional church vault also allowing natural light to enter the Nave.
The main structure consists of Glulam beams, arranged to create a network of triangles exposed on the ceiling of the Nave. A staircase spreads like a fan from the main entrance, welcoming people into the church.
The shape inspired the local Bishop to name Aalgaard Church “the church with open arms”.