Henning Larsen designs a sculptural wooden church in Copenhagen

Ørestad Church-Henning Larsen 2022_Credit Vivid Vision 1_SoMe (1)

Henning Larsen designs a sculptural wooden church in Copenhagen

After over 30 years, a new church will be built in Copenhagen; the project, developed by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen, is the winner of an international competition aimed to find a design for a new church to be completed in the Ørestad area by 2024.
The wooden building of the church has been conceived as a gathering space that reflects the nature of the open landscape of Ørestad; an area which, since the early 2000s, has become one of the most popular neighborhoods of Copenhagen and which is also renowned for the quality of its contemporary architecture.

Above: an interior rendering of the new church of Ørestad designed by Henning Larsen.

Ørestad Church-Henning Larsen 2022_Credit Vivid Vision 1_SoMe (2)

The new church of Ørestad, exterior view; image courtesy of Henning Larsen.

The project of the new church is characterized by a surprising sculptural roof, composed of a series of “chimneys” which convey natural light inside the building evoking the effect of the light passing through the tree foliage in a forest. Externally, the building facades are covered by a bark-like wooden cladding which changes character through the seasons and over time and creates a visual dialogue with the surroundings
La continuità fra lo spazio a pianta quadrata della chiesa e l’area di pertinenza esterna
è sottolineata dal pavimento in laterizio di varie tonalità che rimanda alla vibrazione cromatica
delle foglie cadute; lo stesso rivestimento della pavimentazione si stacca dal suolo per formare sedute, nicchie e piani di appoggio che invitano alla sosta e all’incontro.
This seamless relation between the square-plan interior of the building and the surrounding landscape is further reinforced by the church’s brick flooring, whose colors recall those of fallen leaves; the same floor rises to become benches, sitting niches, and podiums which invite people to meet and meditate in the church.
About the new church, Nina la Cour Sell, Design Director at Henning Larsen, says:
“We have great expectations that the new church will become a meeting point
for both the parish and the community in Ørestad. It has been our goal to
create a sustainable church that is completely its own and contributes to
Ørestad’s tradition of experimenting with the built environment.”

The design of the new church also offered the architects an opportunity to embed modern concepts of social sustainability into its core. In accordance with the results of community consultation, the church has been conceived as a flexible building that can accommodate a variety of services and ceremonies and also includes a chapel, a shielded courtyard, a church office, and informal cultural spaces for various activities, both religious and not. The exterior of the church can be “activated” on all sides creating an “urban shelf”, as Henning Larsen calls them, with seating niches, a book exchange, a drinking fountain, and games and chess tables.
The landscape design – which consists of grasses, herbaceous perennials, and cherry trees – has been inspired by the nearby Amager Fælled protected natural area.
The winning proposal was developed in collaboration with the Danish architectural office Platant, and engineering design firm Ramboll.

Henning Larsen-Ørestad Church Concept Diagrams

Church of Ørestad, conceptual diagram; courtesy of Henning Larsen.

Henning Larsen-Ørestad Church South Elevation

Henning Larsen-Ørestad Church Section BB

South elevation and cross-section; courtesy of Henning Larsen.

Henning Larsen-Ørestad Church Ground Floor

Ground floor plan; courtesy of Henning Larsen.

Henning Larsen Ørestad Church Urban Shelf Axos

Henning Larsen, progetto per la nuova chiesa di Ørestad, pareti attrezzate esterne.
Courtesy of Henning Larsen.

Ørestad Church-Henning Larsen 2022_Credit Vivid Vision 1_SoMe (3)

Ørestad Church-Henning Larsen 2022_Credit Vivid Vision 1_SoMe (4)

Exterior views; courtesy of Henning Larsen.


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