set to occupy a harbor site on the teglholmen penninsula in copenhagen, denmark, the church in sydhavnen and civic center proposal exemplifies a contemporary interpretation of traditional construction and city planning in a structure that is both dynamic and adaptable. the project, designed by luca poian forms,  mediates two deeply rooted cultural and urban elements that make up the town, activating the land and sea simultaneously. the structure occupies the extents of the site, composing a regular boxed form whose facades are carefully designed to establish dialogue with the surrounding historic buildings, and whose proportions honor the geometries of the town’s urban plan.

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
the exterior facade suggests a contemporary design and maintains the feel of the local design
image © luca poian forms (also main image)

 

 

‘similar in formal approach to an early christian temple, our proposal for the new church of sydhavn is driven by the structural expression of the vault as an ideal geometry for the distribution of forces throughout the building, and as the main organisational feature that defines the sequencing and layering of spaces in plan and in section.’

when developing a structural strategy for the internal organization of the building, the architects at luca poian forms looked back to the spatial organization of the roman basilica. five structurally independent vaulted chambers clearly establish spatial and programmatic hierarchy- four towers mark the outer corners of a large central nave that contains the central nave and a rooftop civic space above. to transition between the five nodes the firm looked into the use of a scherk surface which forms a series of arches that seamlessly connect to each face of connecting forms. the nature of the shape also represents a structurally efficient design which uses less material to build than more traditional structures. 

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
the central entry vestibule extends views onto the waterfront
image © luca poian forms

 

 

grey brick is chosen as the primary material that defines both the exterior facades and the interior palette, respecting long established danish construction while pushing its limits and uses and the same time. infilling the masonry construction are expansive curtain walls that flood the interior with natural light. along the waterfront, the transparent facade orients the public circulation space to the waterfront, engaging with local values and suggesting a space equally suited for various community activities in addition to a place of worship. 

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
image © luca poian forms

 

 

the east wing opening onto the dock contains the social functions and vertical circulation for all visitors. a coffee shop in a triple-height room is situated next to the entrance vestibule with a cascading staircase leading guests to the various levels. along the west, the private administrative and maintenance rooms can be found. at the top level, the cultural hall functions as a multi-use civic space with a large operable roof that reveals the sky above and creates a more contemplative environment.

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
tower vault containing a smaller congregation room
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
arched ceilings transition into walls flanking the primary circulation
image © luca poian forms

 

 

‘similar in formal approach to an early christian temple, our proposal for the new church of sydhavn is driven by the structural expression of the vault as an ideal geometry for the distribution of forces throughout the building, and as the main organisational feature that defines the sequencing and layering of spaces in plan and in section.’- luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
mezzanine in the primary vault exhibits the contemporary use of brick
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
central nave illuminated by the negative space of the scherk arches at each corner of the chamber
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
full-height glass walls offer views of the water beyond
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
entry to the central hall and mezzanine level above
image © luca poian forms

herzog de meuron elbphilharmonie
the cultural halls operable roof system opens to the sky
image © luca poian forms

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save