Stauros
Proposal for a new church in Klepp
Project description
Andreas Tveit
Tutors: Andrè Fontes, Eva Kun
Klepp is a municipality in Jæren in Rogaland county. Due to its close proximity to Sandnes and
Stavanger the population has had a rapid growth in the latest years.
The administrative centre, Kleppe, has a church that was built in 1846. This church has seating
for 320 people, and is now becoming to small for the growing congregation.
Since the church is built before 1850 it is autocratically listed by the Directorate for Cultural
Heritage, and can not be refurbished.
The church council also wishes for a church that is more convenient for everyday use, since the
old church was not built with that in mind. Their vision is a church that could be open in long
periods of the day and be a social arena for the community.
This has led to plans to build a new church instead. As a way to save money it has been
proposed to locate the new church on the plot of the town hall. This would be in conjunction
with a planned addition to the municipality administration building. In this way it is possible to
share rooms and functions between the programs.
This is something both institutions could benefit from, both on the economical scale, but also on
creating a synergy that could attract more people to the site.
Therefore this project consists of two major steps. The first is to make a definition of the
extension to the municipal programs in order to create the context for the church. The next step
is to create the church in this context.
Klepp is the second largest agricultural municipality in Rogaland county, with around 600 farms.
Around 75% of the total land mass in Klepp is agricultural land. Since this land is so valuable the
population that does not live on a farm is concentrated in quite dense villages.
But even with a dense population Kleppe lacks a clear definition of a city centre. As progress
toward a solution to this, the extensions would be arranged in an urban logic based on city
blocks. The principle for these blocks is a rectangle of 40x65 meters, the size of the town hall.
These rectangles are multiplied, cut and carved.
This allows for movement through the inside of the of the blocks, in addition to the passages on
the outside.
The volume containing the church is twisted compared to the axis of the other volumes. This
helps on defining rooms on the adjacent area, but is also to symbolise that this part is of a
different significance than the other buildings.
Placing a church here means it should be both integrated in this context, but still be able to
stand out as a special and sacred place.
My essay in social science “sacred/profane” is largely based on the ideas of the French
sociologist Émile Durkheim, from the book “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” published
in 1912. A key definition on how sacred and profane space is divided, is by negative rites.
In western culture this could be transferred to how even non-religious would lower their voice
when entering a church, or how a flag is shown respect by rules regulating when to be hoisted
and lowered, and how to be stored.
It has therefore been important to work with the transitions leading from the outside in to the
interior of the church. By emphasizing how you enter the sacred space, it should show that this
space is different from the profane space on the outside.

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