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Bagsværd Community Church
Utzon Architects

January 02, 2001 /

Bagsværd, Denmark


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Photo: arcspace

The modest church, the color of the Nordic sky, stands tall and proud between birch trees, its back turned towards the noisy street.

The exterior walls are clad in white prefabricated concrete panels and white glazed tiles that reflect the light. The aluminum roof gives the church an industrial, almost austere, appearance. The ambulatories and connecting pathways are covered with glass roofs.

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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
The main sanctuary dominates the tight geometry of the plan; three sections and a courtyard between two parallel corridors. The glass roofed circulation ways blur the transition between nature outside and the church interior...but nothing prepares you for the sweeping cloudscape inside the sanctuary.

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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
The sculptural concrete ceiling in the church is sublime and always changing with a blend of direct and reflected light light that filters through floating clouds. In Utzon's early sketches you can see his inspiration, as in his other buildings, came from nature; the sky and moving clouds.

Structurally, the vaulted ceiling is supported by the glass topped ambulatories. In contrast to the tight exterior, the softly curved ceiling and the white light in the sanctuary gives you a feeling of being elevated... or getting closer to the heavens.

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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
The interior of the church is almost all white; the walls are specially treated white concrete, the floors are white concrete tiles, and the trellis like altar screen is glazed white tiles.

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Photo: arcspace
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Photo: arcspace
In a country where church buildings are universal, without religious references, Utzon has designed a church that exalts and comforts with poetic purity.

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Sketch courtesy Utzon Architects
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Drawing courtesy Utzon ArchitectsPlan


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Drawing courtesy Utzon ArchitectsSection

Facts about Bagsværd Community Church

Total area:

1,700 m2
 
Architect:
Jørn Utzon

Artist:

Lin Utzon

Church benches:

Jan Utzon

Client:

Bagsværd Parish

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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