Våler Church by Espen Surnevik

Våler Church

Våler Church
Photo © Asgeir Trønes

The open international competition for Våler church is one of the largest in Norway ever, with 239 proposals from 23 countries. The competitions winner proposal where finished spring 2015. Våler is a small village along the Glomma River.

Våler Church
Photo © Michel Vo

The churchyard is one of the few planned areas of the town centre, and when the old 19th Century church burned down in 2009, people felt the loss very keenly. The all but impossible task of the new church was to recreate the lost space as a frame for significant events in local people’s lives.

Våler Church
Photo © Michel Vo

The buildings expression was generated as a direct response to the place, and organised around a quadrat with four oriels pointing north, south, east and west, as an analogy to the old cross-church.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

The main story of the liturgy has become the narrative of the church: from fire to resurrection. The new church is placed on the existing processional axis, and clad in straight board of heartwood pine, reflecting the local forest landscape.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

The natural facades have a long local tradition. Due to climate they slowly get darker before ending up going back to nature. Every fifty years the façade-wood will be renewed and the church will resurrect as new for every new-born generation.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

The interior is covered in birch plywood. The artistic elaboration in the interior seeks to “eradicate” the reality of the loadbearing structure and achieve an expression of lightness.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

The towers mark the main liturgical spaces, the church hall and the baptistery, rising from a common cast concrete plinth, the “bedrock” of the church.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

The footprint of the old crosschurch, were made into a memorial as a big grave in the middle of the old graveyard.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

Behind the memorial the new church rises up. The new church is built as a cultural arena, and open minded gathering-place for the whole community of Våler.

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander

Våler church has an environmental focus and are energy classified with an “A”. Våler church won the prize for “building of the year 2015” in the Norwegian building industry. Source by Espen Surnevik.

Våler Church
Photo © Michel Vo

Location: Våler, Norway
Architects: Espen Surnevik
Landscape architect: Espen Surnevik
Interior Architect: Espen Surnevik
Structural Engineer: Dr. Techn. Kristoffer Apeland As
Main Entrepreneur: Martin M. Bakken AS
Artist: Espen Dietrichson
Client: Våler church-council
Year: 2015
Photographs: Asgeir Trønes, Michel Vo, Rasmus Norlander, Courtesy of Espen Surnevik

Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Våler Church
Site Plan
Våler Church
Plan and Section
Våler Church
Facades

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