Kópavogur is one of the four satellite towns that together with Reykjavík form the capital conurbation. The town is comprised of many suburban neighbourhoods and Linda is one of the most recently developed. The housing is primarily low-rise terrace housing and small apartment blocks scattered over a lightly rolling topography. The Linda church and congregational hall is proposed on a plateau at the edge of this neighbourhood with a southern hinterland of lava fields and a long view northward, over the capital area, to the Atlantic ocean.

Within this expanse of urban sprawl and endless, treeless, landscape the church appears as a monolith with a concrete skin of varying density. Inside the mass is dissolved by light filtering through the finely ribbed walls. The plan is a complex sequence of interlinked rooms that serve all of the requirements of worship, learning and social interaction. To enhance flexibility these spaces can be opened into one another or into the central court. This small space allows light to the private quarters of the priests on the lower level, is a ceremonial route from the church to the congregational hall and allows the church to stand as a free object within the building ensemble.

The concrete shell is a combination of insitu and precast elements that are offset by the hewn basalt of the chapel. Honed basalt floors predominate on the lower level whereas oiled timber is used in the congregational hall facilities.

In the long winter the perception of the building is inverted as light from within dissolves the mass of the walls to create a shining beacon in the endless night.

Client : Lindakirkja congregation
Architects : Studio Granda
Structural Engineers : Línuhönnun
Environmental services : Línuhönnun
Acoustic consultancy : Línuhönnun
Fire consultancy : Línuhönnun

Further reading...