Designed by Olso studio Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, the Community Church Knarvik is an awe-inspiring mass of sharply angled timber that harmoniously complements the Norwegian city of Hordaland's mountainous terrain. A modern twist on the medieval-style stave church, this contemporary chapel is clad in light-colored pine and rectangular strips of glazing to create a light-filled indoor environment.
Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter was awarded the bid to design the Community Church Knarvik in a 2010 design competition. To show respect for the environment, their winning design carefully adapted the Christian church to its rocky seaside terrain. The architects clad the exterior with pre-weathered strips of pine and gave the church a sharply angled form to blend the architecture into the rural, mountainous surroundings. The three triangular roof planes that ascend upwards make the church look as if it were opening up to the Heavens.
In addition to religious activities, the community church is also open to local gatherings and serves as a platform for art, music, and cultural development. Natural daylight pours through slatted rectangular windows into the building’s two floors: the first comprises the office and meeting rooms, while the main congregation hall is located on the second level. In contrast to the angled lines, the stained glass focal point in the main hall is arranged in the shape of a circle. The architects also swapped traditional pews with contemporary furniture pieces that are made up of wooden bodies set atop delicate metal legs.
Images via Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter