A non-winning entry that caught our eye
In the small town of Røldal, Norway, architects Leth & Gori recently entered the competition for a new pilgrim centre at the Stave church. Although the entry did not win, here at WAN we felt it deserved to be shown as it proposed a simple yet elegant intervention on the site.
The new building that Leth & Gori proposed cleverly extends out from the existing church wall, helping to integrate the centre into the ‘Church complex’ subtly. The building’s main function is that of the competition, to provide a cultural and historical centre for Røldal but the architects have designed for a multi functional space, adding complexity to the overall programme. As well as providing new spaces for the priest and the church the architects decided to leave the interior fairly open plan so that 'inside the Centre is organised as a series of a spaces in open connection with one another. The layout of spaces allows for a flexible use of the building that accommodates a variation of uses and functions'. Among these functions there would be exhibition spaces, a café and a plaza.
The choice of materials would complement the old church with heavy stone contrasted with light and airy wood adorning the interior. The interesting placement of sky lights adds to the light atmosphere the architects were trying to provide, and would have given a welcoming feel to the occupants of the scheme. The relationship with the site was carefully approached and from the images provided it is clear the architects wanted a building that was sensitive towards the church and did not take the attention away from it, retaining its historical importance to the town.