In the autumn of 2015, the Church of Norway initiated a design competition for a new church in Ulsteinvik. Out of 38 submissions, four finalists were chosen. On June 11, 2016, Snøhetta emerged as the winner with the project titled "Excelsior."
The current Ulstein Church, dating back to the 1800s, can no longer accommodate the community's needs due to its limited capacity and lack of flexibility. The proposed structure will be adjacent to the historic church, forming a harmonious ensemble that caters to various functions and allows for concurrent activities.
Ulstein sokn, Church of Norway
Snøhetta's "Excelsior" aims to deliver a tailor-made and eco-friendly establishment for Ulsteinvik, serving as a dignified and practical venue for the congregation's diverse programs. Integrating the new church with the existing one seeks to establish a cohesive and symbolic unity.
The chosen site for the new church utilizes an area that has not been designated for burials. The design features a central hall on the ground level, crowned with a luminous skylight dome, with entryways orientated towards the old church. Administrative offices are conveniently located on the first floor, accessible via a distinct western entrance.
At the pinnacle, the third floor houses a serene chapel approached through a plaza shaded by a majestic tree. Construction will primarily employ solid wood, with structural support provided by glulam beams, underscoring the commitment to sustainability and architectural integrity.