MENNONITE CHURCH IN THE WOODS, ELSPEET
Design a church according to the traditional Mennonite principles: a sustainable building, with the user in mind and a space for gathering and meeting. The first Mennonite churches were hidden and inconspicuous; simple places of congregation around the bible. The interiors were sober and as pure as possible. No distraction or ornaments in order to enhance concentration and togetherness. The new church on Mennorode refers to that time.
The building has one large characteristic space where whitewood rafters set the tone. A widening in the middle of the building gives this barn-like church a contemporary look. A narrow entrance opens up into a wide gathering space with a glass facade. A knack in the roof and the wall models this transition. An outdoor church has been added and allows open air gatherings when the weather is good.
The new church will be used for gatherings and other church functions. Hospitality is very important. The church will be open all day and everybody is welcome to walk in and visit. A special corner has been created for reflection, quietness and meditation.
The building is made of 100% wood. The interior has been finished with floor boards that were recycled form an old convent. The exterior roof and walls are covered in shingles made of French acacia, harvested from sustainable production woods. The front facade has native oak wood and the walls and roof have been insulated with flax. The building is heated through thermal storage.
Programme on 7 July 2011, TV Gelderland