Link Arkitektur’s Algard Church in Norway Paints Hilly Landscape with Dynamic Form

Ian Mutuli
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The Algard church just outside Stavenger, Norway, was designed for a vibrant community whose requirements for the project were not just for church purposes but also to include classrooms, an office and a café. The extra spaces were required to not interfere or affect the Church space in any way. Link Arkitektur was charged with the responsibility of designing what would not just be a place of worship, but also a community centre and a sense of pride for the congregation.

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The location contains hills and valleys that slope beautifully to create an amazing landscape. The architects wanted to carry this into the design to ensure that the building married its natural context.

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That perhaps explains the curvy roof that gently slopes from the highest point to create a valley-like feel – an ideal similarity to the small town’s location. The requirement by the church’s congregation for the form to be dynamic and outstanding moved the architects to design a sculptural form that appears to evolve out of the landscape.

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To provide for the extra spaces required, the architects decided to lower the ground floor slightly into the terrain. By doing that, more spaces were created under the ground level to accommodate classrooms, offices and a café, while the Church remained the most prominent space on the site.

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The building’s shape screams of modernity with a structure that is made of Glulam beams creating a network of triangles. All the triangles are placed to face upwards in order to reflect light into the church. Through this the architects created the kind of refraction that is so common in dome vaults.

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The network of triangles also include closed triangles that have in-built LED lights. The corner point is slightly lifted upwards on the northern façade to offer additional daylight into the room. This light falls along the church’s floor in the park part of the room.

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For a location whose existing buildings are somewhat dull, the church is a show of the vibrancy exuded by the inhabitants.

Project Information
Architects: Link Arkitektur
Location: Ålgård, Norway
Area: 1,980 sq.m
Completed: 2015
Photography: Hundven Clements

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.