Kirke i Sydhavnen Church

Our proposal for the Sydhavnen Church in Copenhagen aims to produce a unique space which takes advantage of the specificity of the location to produce a space which, while having the monumental serenity of more conventional religious spaces, will also have the quality of a collective assembly room for all citizens alike, much like old cathedrals used to be places of congregation which exceeded the simple demands of the liturgy. While the form of the cross is deeply embedded in the structure of the church space, our ambition is for the space to attain a non-denominational quality. Monumentality is in this sense the vehicle to provide the building with a significance which transcends cultural and creed divisions.

The form of the main space is aimed to combine many images that are associated to spaces of cult and spiritual elevation. On the one hand, the symbol of the cross has been deeply embedded in the form of the church’s envelope, rather than being applied as an ornamental figure. By doing so, the space of the church itself is basically a rectangular plate, lifted above the ground level, more akin to a basilical plan or a mosque, than to a cruciform cathedral. While the form of the cross is deeply embedded in the experience of the space, our ambition is to remove the ornamental elements in order to produce a space with a non-denominational mystique.

The need to complement the church space with a variety of community spaces has led us to place the church level elevated from the ground level, so that those functional spaces will be given a more direct access from the ground level, while raising the monumental space of the church over the functional socle.

Our proposal for the Sydhavnen Church is grounded on a reduced material palette which is aimed to reinforce the monumentality of the building. The floor of the church and also the common facilities on the ground level will be finished with a dark, polished terrazzo in situ, cast with brass joints.


Team credits:

Design Team:
AZPML: Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, Ivaylo Nachev, Blanca Munoz, Irene Abellan, Federica Campeotto.
TERROIR: Gerard Reinmuth (Partner), Rodrigo Velázquez Bernabéu, Rolf Svendsen
Structure Engineering: Format Engineers, London
Sustainability: Transsolar, Paris
Renders: Flashrender, Madrid