SITUATION: Ålesund. Norway. >>Open in GOOGLE MAPS
DATES: competition (2009)
CLIENT: Ålesund parish
ARCHITECTS: José Antonio Carbajal Navarro, Nicolás Carbajal Ballell and Rodrigo Carbajal Ballell
COLLABORATING ARCHITECTS: Eva Muñoz Romero, Fernando Moreno Humanes, Ingvild Thommesen Sæbø and Tomás Osborne Ruíz

Our project takes advantage of topography. Placing the parish center partially underground, the glass volume of the Church becomes a reference in the landscape. By this way, most of the trees can be preserved and the sacred space is underlined as the main element of the project. At night, light will flow out, filtering between the trees.
The building is placed in the center of the site, far from the noise of RV60 road. The Church relies on an almost horizontal area while the parish center penetrates into the ground. Its rooms will receive light and ventilation through the patios. Its gardened roofs will be a good place for walk and meditation. Patios and paths between the gardens that define human-scale spaces, with ups and downs that allow the discover of new sights of the Church. At the south side is projected a place for mass in the open air, with stone benches, the cross beside the altar and the church as background. The requested parking lot has been divided in two areas: a small one for the staff, between the road and the northern patio (staff access) and a the main parking for the community, placed close to the entrance and in relation with the cemetery.
Between the trees, a square presided by the church and emphasized by the bell tower receives to the parishioners. The hall gives access both to parish center rooms, chapels and the main room. The big patio allows the celebration of mass in the open air, with people sitting on the stands. The room for community meetings, with direct access from the hall, has its own furniture storage area and can open to the main patio, carrying the meetings outside. The organization of the parish center pursues the creation of comfortable spaces, in relation with gardened patios, and useful spaces, with rooms that can be joined together, increasing their capacity.
The main room, inspired on the surrounding mountains and the traditional church spires, leaves the chapels at its back and opens to the south, to the forest, with the cross outside behind the altar. At the east side, an open floor houses the chorus and the organ. At the west, a wall will receive the “main art work” and behind it, a corridor leads to the sacristy. The main room is defined by a three dimensional steel structure and two glass skins closing a thermal-control chamber. Over the altar, hanging elements will function as sun shades and acoustic shells.
In summary, our design allows an easy orientation of users, the realization of multiple activities at the same time and a clear distinction between sacred spaces and the other areas for the community.
This work is published at divisare.com
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