Case Studies: Knarvik Community Church
The Community Church Knarvik in Norway was completed in 2014 and draws inspiration from the traditional Norwegian stave churches. The building's primarily wooden construction features pre-weathered pine heartwood for cladding and light-coloured pine finishes on interior surfaces. Tall, narrow windows maximize natural light and reduce glare while the compact, two-story design separates sacred spaces above and cultural/administrative functions below, connected by an internal "church square." Serving as a landmark in the community, the church provides a safe and inclusive space for faith and cultural events while uniting religion, culture, and site-specific context through its architecture, spatial solutions, and materiality.
Cross - Laminated Beams
The building's primary structure is constructed with cross-laminated timber beams, chosen for their strength and ability to support long spans and high spaces. This sustainable material is preferred over steel and can be sourced locally from the abundant pine wood found in Norway. This makes it an eco-friendly option, requiring minimal transportation and energy for production.
The building's vast areas are clad with locally sourced pine timber, which adds to the building's aesthetic appeal and environmental sustainability. This material requires very little energy for production and transportation, making it a better alternative to concrete panels or other less sustainable options.
Glass is also utilized in the building to allow natural light to penetrate and enhance the community space. Although this material is not as environmentally friendly as the other materials used, efforts were made to minimize energy loss by carefully considering the size of the openings. Despite the energy required for production and transportation, the use of glass was necessary to achieve the desired aesthetic and functional goals of the building.
This diagram looks at how the building would look if different if it was constructed using different materials.
SWOT Analysis - Materiality