Pulpit Rock Church

Using Edmund Burke´s romantic definition of the sublime (sublime being understood as an embodiment of concepts of vastness and overwhelmingness, let us say something normally found in nature which both threatens our existence both also provokes our curiosity), one can perfectly say that Pulpit Rock offers the ultimate platform for a sublime experience.

Our concern when confronting the site area was to allow for the platform to retain its unperturbed sacred face by remaining  visually empty and let it preserve its millenary unobstructed view over the landscape, which quite naturally led us to decide that the church should be rendered invisible to the visitor´s eye. The sacred space descended then into the interior of the platform itself proclaiming a more primal approach to the concept of architectural refuge. Outside, the church would only be acknowledge due to the presence of a translucent monolithic 30m cylinder which starts loosing density as it grows upwards and houses the bell tower with a minor entrance.

Pulpit Rock Church

Location

The Pulpit Rock, Norway

Client

AWRcompetition

Size

250 m²

Year

Competition 2016

We used the Vesica Piscis figure, which outcomes from 2 overlapping circles and is a unity in the midst of becoming dual. It is a reference to Christ as a fish-designating the Piscean Age and was the central diagram of Sacred Geometry for the Christian mysticism of the Middle Ages.

Inside the church, the visitor will be deprived of a direct contact with the outside landscape and will be invited to meet God in a, dare we say, more Romanesque tradition within an atmosphere of crystallized light, shadow and primal silence.

So what better concept would it be than this of the cave-sanctuary to embody a contemplative church awakening deep haptic meanings in the viewer and undoubtedly kindle a sense of Divine nature, and where one could recede back into a deeper inner state of sublime contemplation. Most importantly, of a building which would be understood as a natural order of the landscape and which claims into itself a timeless Aesthetic.

Picture Credits: Christian Schreinert, PSP Architects Engineers, Hamburg

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