teamwork with Philipp Brodt

59°57′N 10°45′E

title and map munnar

The church at Sørenga, a new neighborhood development directly at the Oslo Fjord, is more than merely a catholic church. In the nowadays common hectic life, one is always in need of a quiet sancuary, a tranquil refugee - an anchor of calm. This is what the project, deliberately located a bit further from the current main developement, is aiming at. While the core is still a church, and the main focus is exactly that, the serene church room which is anchored ashore, there are layers around it that appeal to any religion. This is also a step to unite more than one religion in a quest for quiet time dedicated to contemplation, tranquility, remeniscence, and general trails of thought.

The site perfectly enables such a theme, as it is a half-island plot, isolated from the surroundings with gorgeous, almost 360° views of the fjord lying beyond.

As one approaches the site from the only side that is connected to the main land, the complex presents itself via an extended platform, welcoming guests to a more public and open, free-flowing zone. While the topography slightly rises towards the water´s edge, the further one gets within the building, the deeper the rooms stand within the landscape, rendering them more intimate the further one gets. This results in the very last and most important of them all: the main church room with a holy water basin connecting the land with the water of the fjord.

[LOCATION] site plan

It was important to isolate the church´s site from the surroundings. The further one moves away from the inner city center, the quieter and more remote it gets. This is precisely where we wanted to situate our anchor of calm. Starting point of any further development was the positioning of the main church volume, which is directly at the shore, with a bit extending into the water. This orientation was the fixed primary axis for the religious grid that we manifested. A more public and secular grid was conceived according to the entrance direction from both the above development area and the jetty that leads from the islands in the fjords directly to the site.

According to these two grids and layered directions, the remaining rooms were placed. Each typology received their own rectangular volume. The main church room, the bell tower and the smaller chapel with an adjecent room of contemplation are all aligned on the religious grid, while volumes for administration, music, and sudies are all aligned according to the secular grid. The primary volumes are all held together by two platforms, one for the main level to walk on, and one as the roof. Outside of the religous area, one can walk freely and outside between the boxes, while one enters the religious zone through glass facades. The building for administartion connects the religious center with the layers of the more public area. The positioning of the church and bell-tower volume sections off different areas in between them, which creates space for meetings, a grand entrance foyer and a more secluded entrance to the main church room where services are held.

Beyond these main functions and volumes, small rooms of contemplation are positioned along the landscape, each precisely facing one particular view for relaxation and some quiet time whenever one chooses.

[CONCEPT] site localization | site orientation | building placement
[VISUAL REFERENCES] views from the rooms of contemplation as well as the bell tower
[FLOOR PLAN] ground floor
munnar tea plantation construction details
[ELEVATION] southeast
munnar tea plantation construction details
[SECTIONS] longitudinal and cross section through main church room
munnar tea plantation construction details
[PERSPECTIVE] main entrance towards the church area