Placed in the southern part of the project area in continuity with the ancient church, the proposal for the New Church of Våler by Francesco Fiotti architects attempts to recover not only the orientation of it, but also the memory. Their design makes reference to the boat as a symbol of Christianity that welcomes and protects within it the faithful; the Drakkar as tribute at the exploratory tradition of the Norwegian people. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The building consists of two main sections: in the first one is situated the church room and its main functions such as baptism, funerals, choir, sacristy; in the second one are located the church square and other services such as info point, cloakroom, wc, storage, technical room.
The main entrance to the church is located to west, by following the “PATH OF MEMORY” that represents the pathway through the old church. Near the entrance and in continuity with the church room there are: baptism room and the nursery on the south side, while on the north side is located the funeral room. The funeral room has a private entrance that overlooks externally on a small square. The funeral and the baptism rooms can also be separated from the rest of the church through sliding panels.
The location of the choir above these rooms creates a particular spatial and acoustic effect. The visitor gets in the church from a semi-darkness area to admire, in all its spaciousness, a game of lights and shades and a warm wooden roof. Acoustically the position of choir and organ allows the faithful to perceive a diffuse and involving sound. The sacristy and the sacristan’s office are placed behind the altar.
The services are located in the lateral side, in continuity with the church room, with a main entrance from the north through the new parking lot. From here guests can get in directly in the church room or follow the path that leads to the church square. The church square is projected outward up to forest creating the sequence: church square covered – church square discovered – woods.
The structure is entirely made of lamellar wood with beams all visible from the inside the church. Along the south side, the cover is lifted from the ground to form a window that opens on the lawn and the woods. The lamellar arc that supports the wall is built with a pair of laminated wood beams 120×30 cm in size. The roof of the lateral building is supported by a couple of beams in wood connected to the main beams of the church. This technical solution creates between the pair of beams a series of linear skylights that provide natural lighting at the lateral building. Through these cuts in the roof 12 beams emerge gradually, the “12 apostles”, that rise into the sky and ideally they end in the bell tower located in the church square outside.
The project includes a non-traditional bell tower, that we called “diffuse bell tower”. The bells with different tones are in located at the top of the last 3 beams, that define the open church square on the east side. These are also used as support for the outside illumination through strips of led with warm tones placed along the intrados of each element, in continuity with the covered church square’s illumination.
Architects: Francesco Fiotti
Location: Våler, Norway
Team: Carmela Scala (architect), Sergio Capasso (rendering), Enzo Junior Dessì (structural engineer), Fabio Locascio (structural engineer)
Net Floor Area: 730 mq
Type of Project: Competition