Østre Porsgrunn Church, Porsgrunn, Norway

Østre Porsgrunn church Espen Surnevik

PROJECT: Østre Porsgrunn church

LOCATION: Porsgrunn, Telemark, Norway

YEAR: 2015-2019

AREA: 960 mt. sq.

ARCHITECT: Espen Surnevik

COLLABORATORS: Trodahl Architects

 

INTRODUCTION:

old church
Photograph of the earlier church

Building a new church, after the loss of a traditional church on fire, is profound and a demanding process for the local community. The Østre Porsgrunn church, earlier a wooden church from 1760 got burned on 11 April 2011 and had later undergone through several restorations. But this time the Phoenix had risen up to a completely new life in a porcelain style.

Østre Porsgrunn church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik

The architectural task to create a meaningful new church building that can both absorb history, but at the same time carry the future and the opportunities. This was a new era demand for the congregation and society. Further, the architect Espen Surnevik, in collaboration with the studio Trodhal Architects, won the competition on 26 June 2015, and successfully gave a new identity to the Porsgrunn’s church.

 

CONCEPT:

The new church has been developed based on the axis system, and the sizes of the old church. Through this, the city’s new church reflects the sizes of the church that once stood there. The concept was to design the church which reinterpreted to match the new needs of the Evangelical-Lutheran community. “Church of the Resurrection”, a name given by the architects is due precisely to the ideal link with the old church.

Church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik

DESIGNING AND PLANNING:

The planning starts from the defined starting from that of the old wooden structure, developed in 11 volumes of 33-meter high truncated pyramidal shape. Moreover, all these shapes have an inclination of 3.3 degrees. “Travel Up” emphasizes the simple and primary geometries. The church is developed from various massifs with a heavy and dense character. Between the massifs, there are light openings that bring light into the rooms. Large girders span the church room, at the outer edges of the volumes, and become visible in the church room.

Church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik

In addition, several niches, recesses, and projections within the interior allow natural light to permeate within. This gives more kind of a peaceful and spiritual environment within the interiors of the church.

Østre Porsgrunn church plan
Image ©Espen Surnevik
Østre Porsgrunn church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik

The building also offers great flexibility to organize a variety of events, from concerts to art exhibitions, from church to ceremonies. The large hall carries chairs that are lightweight and strong, and thus, can be organized in various ways. Above all, Østre Porsgrunn Church opens its interior to the community and invites in through large glass sections at the entrance zone to the building.

Church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik
Church elevation
Image ©Espen Surnevik

MATERIALS AND STRUCTURE:

As a replica of the chalk-white wooden church that stood on the site, the interior of the new church and facades are of white porcelain. The choice of material takes a look at Porsgrunn’s industrial history. Also, its color and material symbolize the highest purity.

Østre Porsgrunn church interior
Image ©Espen Surnevik

 

Interior
Image ©Espen Surnevik

Again, the light, which fills the church, plays a central role in symbolizing hope and return. “Reis Opp” is a “resurrection church”, which parallels the Våler church. It uses daylight in the church room as a picture of vitality and hope after suffering.

Østre Porsgrunn church multipurpose hall
Image ©Espen Surnevik

 

Church Pray hall
Image ©Espen Surnevik

Also, cite this article to share: https://architectsempire.com/ostre-porsgrunn-church-porsgrunn-norway-the-architects-empire/

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