Skjern City Church
Innovative sustainability in a church
with both worship and rock concerts
The church is a mix of modern elegant design with maximum flexibility, functional meeting rooms and a cozy cafe with nostalgia charm and humorous edge. An innovative church whose expression fits well with the creation of these new elegant premises in an old raw butchery.
On 21.09.2018, Skjern City Church was inaugurated by the mayor of Skjern and 2 days later there were over 600 for worship, concert, and pleasant get-togethers.
"Fantastic and Synergy", are 2 words I used over and over as I talked to people from the community. Fantastic because a large number of amazing people from the church have contributed to this project both financially and practically. As far as I am concerned, it has mainly been my two primary partners in the church building - pastor Jens Lomborg & building manager Karsten Ahle, but there are many who have been indispensable for this church to become a reality. Synergy because there are great opportunities for a good interaction with the city, the cultural life, the elderly center which is the nearest neighbor and other nearby churches. The city of Skjern wanted something to change the way people use this part of the city. And it sure has. Skjern has got a distinct innovative church, a new cozy elderly center and an elegant modern concert hall with superb acoustics and seating for more than 600 people in the middle of the city's former "dead" district. Now it is blooming with new residential buildings and more!
"It's bigger than Christmas Eve!" .... TV Midtvest has made a fine presentation of Skjern City Church, which makes me a little extra happy to have been the architect on the project. They write: "Skjern Bykirke has now opened its new church. An old slaughterhouse turns into a elegant modern church with room for 600 churchgoers. - "We have been looking forward to this for a very long time. It's bigger than Christmas Eve," says Jan Christiansen, chairman of Skjern City Church. The new church has cost 10.8 million dkk. and is funded by the members themselves. "It offers some completely new opportunities - also to take on the city altogether," concludes Jan Christiansen.
Skjern City Church is a relatively large congregation of churchgoers from Skjern and the surrounding area, who have chosen to support a new church, which is still founded on the permanent foundation of the Danish Church, but is more free in their way of doing many things. I feel Skjern City Church and the congregation have been given an elegant well-functioning church, which can be both a solemnly devotional space and a multi-space for a concert, a cozy cafe, and some good multifunctional rooms, which offer plenty of opportunities to practice the life & belief that this house is all about. The church is truly innovative about the possibilities in the various rooms. It's not just that there is a stage for a band instead of an organ, the curved walls, which helps create good acoustics suited for rock concerts, and that the interior can be easily moved aside. - But think about it! ... Any church, you can think of, that has space for an indoor playground or a café with a retro living room, bar, hanging plants and a surprisingly red floor. Here is also the play and relaxation zone & the rest zone with daybed and soft chairs for children, the elderly and those with special needs. Yes, the church consists of a number of zones and multi-spaces with the possibilities of many different functions and user scenarios.
Transformation & total renovation of an abandoned industrial building in West Jutland.
For a while, I have been working on transforming the old slaughterhouse in central Skjern in collaboration with the architect firm Bo Christensen ApS. This exciting project is a piece in a larger context of the city's development and the way of using and understanding their city. The project is used by "The Architecture Project" in their presentation "Rethink Skjern" to illustrate the possibilities, to create new life in Skjern and other similar smaller cities.
In this project with the City Church, I have primarily spent time designing a beautiful and well-functioning church and some multifunctional rooms that can accommodate all the different parts of the church life in a simple and manageable way, where light, air, and natural materials create unity and overview. In the church's primary room, you must be able to think big thoughts and find silence, but it's also an innovative church, with room for celebration, concerts and thought-provoking visual impressions. Here, the ceiling is high and there is room for thinking and wondering. The building can contain several multi-spaces with different functions and user scenarios.