Våler Church.

Våler Church.

Main entrance seen from the churchyard.

The indoor “common”.

The wake space.

Main hall with custom designed lights.

Main church hall. The artist for the altar “window” is Espen Dietrichson.

Main tower and skylight.

From the baptistery.

From the baptistery.

From the exhibition of the competition projects.

Making the lights at Hadeland Glass Works.

Architect Espen Surnevik mocking up a corner.

Våler church yard with the foundations of the old church.


Detail section. Working drawing.

Våler is a small village on the Glomma River. The churchyard is one of the few planned areas of the town centre, and when the old 19th Century church burned down in 2009, people felt the loss very keenly. The all but impossible task of the new church was to recreate the lost space as a frame for significant events in local people’s lives.

The main story of the liturgy has become the narrative of the church: from fire to resurrection. The new church is located on the existing processional axis, and clad in straight board of heartwood pine, reflecting the local forest landscape. The interior is covered in birch plywood. The artistic elaboration in the interior seeks to “eradicate” the reality of the loadbearing steel structure and achieve an expression of lightness. The towers mark the main liturgical spaces, the church hall and the baptistery, rising from a common cast concrete plinth, the “bedrock” of the church.

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