The Knarvik Community Church is located on the west coast of Norway (north of Bergen) and overlooks the local town center. The building— deigned by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter — is adapted to an existing hillside between man-made and natural environment.

The church signals its function with a sacral dignity and a recognizable form. The compact volume is split into two stories on a rectangular plan, separating the sacred spaces above from the cultural and administrative functions below. An internal “church square” connects the two levels with an atrium stair into a continuous space, and may be joined or separated from the sanctuary with sliding glass walls.

The building allows daylight into its volume through tall and narrow windows. At night, the warm glow of the interior reveals the religious and cultural events for the passer-by. Knarvik Community Church can host up to 500 people at once; it is a community landmark, thanks to its innovative character and central location.

“The church aspires to provide a platform for a safe upbringing for children and youth, to become a local venue for gatherings and faith, and to facilitate art, music and cultural development,”the architects concluded. [Information provided by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter; photos courtesy of Hundven Clements Photography]