Helligtrekongers Church

2016-12 | Vallensbæk, Denmark

Project: Church
Built: 2006-2012
Sqm.: 700
Client: The Parish of Vallensbæk
Type: New Build

In 2006 the parish of Vallensbæk organised an architectural competition for a new church because the congregation had begun to outgrow the existing church.

The project is developed by Peder Elgaard, ELGAARD Architecture under the auspices of Erik Møller Arkitekter

The Medieval Vallensbæk Church was erected between 1150 and 1200. The vaults and frescoes of the church date back to 1400-1450 and the church tower was added in 1525. In 1865 the architect J.D. Herholdt oversaw a harsh renovation of the church including an outer leaf wall, a crow-stepped gable and installation of new gothic windows. The parish community centre was erected in 1989 by the architect Palle Drost. Between 2006-2012 the new Helligtrekongers church was erected.

Helligtrekongers Church is based on Kirkebakken next to the medieval Vallensbæk Church, which has been the spiritual centre for the local congregation for more than 800 years. Together with the parish community centre, the three buildings constitute the grounds of the church square with the old compound wall as its backdrop. The church square is defined as a centralised clearing in the birch grove, which has been planted in relation to the Helligtrekongers Church. This simple layout connects the three buildings and gives the church area a charismatic atmosphere. The square and the individual buildings create diversity with each having their individual historical representation.

The overall concept of the Helligtrekongers Church has been an attempt to achieve a clear and simple balance between site and setting. The church consists of two interconnected circular elements: The circular nave rises above the surrounding circular glazing which creates the outer skin of the building. The centres of the two circular elements have been offset to suggest an axis, as seen in the traditional church nave, in the otherwise democratic plan of the circle.

Daylight, details and crafting of the materials underpin the simplicity of the main concept and the individual functions within the church. The nave is flooded in daylight from the glazed façade. The main material palette is defined and simple; broom finish and white rendered brickwork, glass, aluminium, Terrazzo and oak wood. The brickwork is used on the inner rotunda. Aluminium and glass in the outer cylinder. Finally the terrazzo floor and the oak furnishing and cladding connect the entire scheme.

The skylight band along the outer walls marks the journey of the sun as fine rays of light are reflected on the white render wall. Furthermore the church frames the variation in light as time, weather and seasons change.

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