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 Gratangen kirke

Gratangen kirke ( Gratangen Church)
Address: Årstein, 9470 Gratangen
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Architect: Oskar Norderval
Client: Gratangen parish
Construction System /
Concrete, glass
Building Type: Church
Keywords: concrete, modernism, postmodernism, church
Year of Construction: 1971
Gratangen Church occupies a dominant position on an elevation out towards the fjord, on the inner side of the bridge, just by the village of Årstein. The building stands out in the landscape and may be seen from a long way away when approaching from Gratangsbotn. The architect who designed the church was Oskar Norderval, son of Monrad Oskar Norderval, who was Bishop of Nord-Hålogaland from 1961 to 1972.

In the main, the church is built of concrete and glass as a low, more or less rectangular building with a flat roof. On the flat roof are positioned two vertical slabs close to one another, pointing to the east, further into the fjord. In between the two slabs, which form a triangular shape, hang the church bells.

The church is shaped in a modernistic fashion, but was built during a period when modernism was giving way to postmodernism. One of the characteristics of postmodernism is the search for some kind of regional or local connection, which in the case of this church is represented by the tower edifice, shaped like a sail. Gratangen has been known as a municipality with strong links to the sea, especially as a home harbour for many Arctic Ocean vessels during the twentieth century. One of these was “Nyken”, which sank in 1939 with the loss of all 18 of its crew. A model of this vessel hangs inside the church.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 18.12.2008
Author: T.A
Photographer: T.A 2008

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