A building is topped with wooden shingles, presenting a gorgeous structure that stands in a clearing surrounded by trees. This wooden church is like a secret of the incredible natural landscape that surrounds it. This is Ørestad Church as designed by Henning Larsen, and it is the first new church to be built in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, in over 30 years.
The wait was worth it. Henning Larsen blends architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, urbanism, graphic design and lighting design concepts. Henning Larsen provides a holistic design, which is an overall approach to building better spaces. Furthermore, that means better buildings for humans and for the environment.
Henning Larsen’s global design director, Jacob Kurek, explains, “The intention is to create a church that can command attention, untouched by the bustle of the city, filled with spaces of distinguished simplicity that offer residents solace from their everyday life. Tasked with designing a building that lingers in your mind, we have chosen to create a building that sits in complete harmony with its surroundings.”
Light pours in through the domed roof while the design resembles the natural tree canopy created by the leaves. What’s more, the facade of the church is made to be rough like tree bark. In addition, a continuous brick floor connects the church to its surroundings. Different shades of glazing on the bricks resemble the different colors of fall leaves.
The church also has space for concerts, eating, yoga, dancing and lectures. There are little seating niches, a book exchange area and several other gathering spaces. Meanwhile, various types of grass, cherry trees and perennials dot the landscape.
The entire design truly honors and blends into the natural world. Outdoor spaces allow humans and nature to co-exist and thrive together. It’s a design that showcases what design can be like when nature is allowed to take center stage. It’s a perfect example, then, of what future sustainable design should look like.
Images via Vivid-Vision and Henning Larsen