Church in Sydhavnen
Competition for a new church in Sydhavnen, Copenhagen.
The church is in the centre of a new part of the city, a former industrial suburb. We don’t yet know what the other new buildings will be like, but we know that they will have a style and expression of our times. Among these blocks, the new church meets different situations on each side. Unlike many historic churches and temples, the proposed building doesn’t seek to dominate its surroundings. It wants, however, to raise an interest, to give character and to enrich its surroundings through its play of building volumes and its materiality. From new angles, the church presents itself anew.
The programme is dispersed over three floors and different functions are given different spatial characters. The rooms and spaces are pieced together in the intricate sections and the resulting complex is rich in spatial variation. On the ground floor is the heart of the building, the main space for worship and ceremony. This space can be used as a large room, with a dramatic contrast between a lower, darker part and a higher, brighter part over the altar. It can also be separated into two spaces, the smaller one of which then becomes a very sacral and vertical space. Surrounding the ceremony space is a series of smaller rooms for welcoming people or filling needs for the ceremonies. The first floor is centered on the culture room, the main space for culture and activities. This space can be used as large room, or divided into three smaller spaces. The character is decidedly non-sacral, daylit evenly from the lanterns above. Outside of the culture space is a foyer used for social gatherings. The second floor contains the administration and offices for the parish staff. This is also where you come to plan ceremonies or to get counseling. Above the main body of the church, the clock tower rises and through this you get access to the roof and the outdoors ceremony room.
The city grows. New areas come to life, people move in. The new city contains a multitude of people, needs and connections. The Danish church wishes to be where people are, and to meet them as the are. Therefore we propose a building that is inviting, where many things can take place at the same time, where people can meet each other and God. An everyday place, but also something beyond the everyday. A building with life and openness. A place for solemnity, community and euphoria.