bagsvaerd church, copenhagen

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Rather than inundating you with all things Japanese, let's mix it up a bit. Time to grab a snippet from the Copenhagen leg of the journey today. Hooray!

After arriving at a surprisingly boxy and utilitarian building, I started to wonder if I had taken down the wrong address. The facade fails to give the faintest hint of the undulating ceiling that lies within. Yet hidden behind a door in a network of corridors, I finally found Jorn Utzon's Bagasvaerd Church.

Being imbedded in the depth of the building, the space is very much internalized with limited views beyond its walls. Highlight windows are obscured from view, but their presence is made known by the wash of daylight cast on the ceiling. The glow reveals the sculptural form of the ceiling- the anomaly in an otherwise rational structure. Although concrete, the ceiling ripples weightlessly over the church as a soulful, spiritual gesture.

Despite being built in the seventies, I couldn't help but notice that the detailing and materiality are strangely current. I know the Scandinavian aesthetic is generally pretty classic, but the pale timber, the touches of warm metal and the soft geometry have definitely been on high rotation on a number of more recent projects. 

To virgin eyes, one might think Bagsvaerd is a new project. I guess that unwavering relevance is what makes it an architectural classic.

[Photos by me]
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