Church, Contest, MR

The Roofless Church


The end of a long road. Preikestolen.

A piece of rock to look at the world, from which one has a different vision of life.

My feet are on the edge of the rock spur. In front of me the infinite.

A symbolic place. I’m firmly on the rock, the humble element of creation and at the same time the strongest.

Nevertheless, my gaze and my mind propagate toward the fascinating spectacle that I have faced. From here I can see everything, water, earth, rocks and mist in the distance. Whatever seems to be surreal, it seems all in balance.

Now, the world that I am facing begins to confuse with the sky. The heaven, the dwelling of God, or God himself, who is bent on the world.

Purity, perfection, all enclosed in the celestial vault. The sky has no end.

Looking up at the infinite blue I understand how small the man is.

There was a time when the man lived in respectful distance from the sky. A time when man believed that the alternation of day and night was the demonstration of the existence of an order in the universe. Here at Preikestolen, the limit of the physical world, seems to be catapulted into another dimension. A return to the origins, ancient and more humane.

As I am absorbed in these thoughts I see in the center of the rock strip a circumference, or rather, a building with a circular layout.

A volume marked by vertical rhythmic elements, through which I can always see the environment around me. An enclosure, a temenos.

I approach the building.

The volume is well-balanced on solid rock. Within the shade of the portico, going through the vertical elements, walking up the step.

Get in a step, a simple and meaningless gesture that evokes a particular feeling, as if moving from one world to another. As I walk through the enclosure my eyes still have to get used to the lack of light. I begin to focus this circumference: it is completely open inward. A building composed of different circumferences, circles of physical and spiritual energy. As in a centripetal motion, I am attracted to the center of this fence, in which I know three primordial elements in succession, a body of water that reflects the blue of the immense sky, a stone altar and a tree. The water that penetrates the rock, stimulates fantasy and seems to descend to the center of the earth, linking two worlds, one upper and one lower. In the middle stands an altar that seems to balance all the power that emanates from this church. The last element, the tree, seems to elevate, with its branches, toward the infinite, toward the sky. A perfect representation of the primordial tripartite cosmos of the lower regions and of the sea, the earth and the sky.

Still thinking that I’m inside a church, it seems to me an ancient space. An enclosure that reminds me of the sacred northern forms, a circular whole stones, but also the center of life of the Scandinavian villages, meeting and sharing place. A church strongly rooted in the history of this place and in close connection with the surrounding environment. From the inner enclosure and from the portico, the visual and spiritual connection with the sky and the surrounding environment is continuous. An essential church, a place of primal faith, of memory and of direct contact with nature and the celestial vault.

Collaboration with 

arch. Marco Silvi




23 luglio 2017

Enchanting Nature

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