Bagsværd Community Church

by | 26. Jul 2012

Feature | Religious
bagsvaerd_1.jpg

Photo: arcspace

 

The modest church, the color of the Nordic sky, stands tall and proud between birch trees, its back turned towards the noisy street.

The exterior walls are clad in white prefabricated concrete panels and white glazed tiles that reflect the light. The aluminum roof gives the church an industrial, almost austere, appearance. The ambulatories and connecting pathways are covered with glass roofs.

bagsvaerd_2.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_4.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_3.jpg

Photo: arcspace

The main sanctuary dominates the tight geometry of the plan; three sections and a courtyard between two parallel corridors. The glass roofed circulation ways blur the transition between nature outside and the church interior…but nothing prepares you for the sweeping cloudscape inside the sanctuary.

bagsvaerd_5.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_6.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_7.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_8.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_9.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_10.jpg

Photo: arcspace

The sculptural concrete ceiling in the church is sublime and always changing with a blend of direct and reflected light light that filters through floating clouds. In Utzon’s early sketches you can see his inspiration, as in his other buildings, came from nature; the sky and moving clouds.

Structurally, the vaulted ceiling is supported by the glass topped ambulatories. In contrast to the tight exterior, the softly curved ceiling and the white light in the sanctuary gives you a feeling of being elevated… or getting closer to the heavens.

The interior of the church is almost all white; the walls are specially treated white concrete, the floors are white concrete tiles, and the trellis like altar screen is glazed white tiles.

bagsvaerd_11.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_12.jpg

Photo: arcspace

bagsvaerd_13.jpg

Sketch courtesy Utzon Architects

bagsvaerd_14.jpg

Drawing courtesy Utzon ArchitectsPlan

bagsvaerd_15.jpg

Drawing courtesy Utzon ArchitectsSection

In a country where church buildings are universal, without religious references, Utzon has designed a church that exalts and comforts with poetic purity.

INFORMATION

CITY Bagsværd
COUNTRY Denmark
CONSTRUCTION YEAR 1976
ARCHITECT Jørn Utzon

CLIENT

CONTRACTOR