New Church for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo congregation, in Hagsätra, Stockholm, Sweden.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Stockholm, designed by Belatchew Arkitekter, was deemed ‘Highly Commended’ at the World Architecture Festival Awards in Berlin.
The building was originally a grocery store, but has throughout the past 30 years served as a temporary church for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The congregation is growing and is today the seat of the church’s Swedish archdiocese, and thereby needed a bigger church.
The original building was rectangular with the church hall in one end. With the extension, the church hall is moved into a new circular building placed at one end of the building. The circular form and the dome draws inspiration from Ethiopian churches that are often hexagonal, octagonal or circular buildings with domes. In line with tradition the altar is placed in the east.
The building is composed of colored concrete that takes up the color and material from the unique rock churches of Lalibela in northern Ethiopia. The feeling of weight is conveyed by the outwardly inclined walls.
Furthermore, the building is composed of one characterized volume, the church hall, which is complemented by the otherwise low-key building. From the adjacent road as well as from existing residential buildings you can see the church from above. The dome is made of copper like metal and around the dome light is let in through a glass ceiling.
The existing church hall is remade into a community room and is given a higher ceiling with roof lanterns in order to let more light in. In the existing building an activity room is also created for social activities.