Henning Larsen win design contest for church in Skanderborg, Denmark

2 June 2021
  • Henning Larsen
  • Henning Larsen
  • Henning Larsen
  • Henning Larsen



Winning plans create flexible space for traditional worship and community events

TenderStream member Henning Larsen has won the design competition for Højvangen Church, the first church to be built in Skanderborg Parish, Denmark, in over 500 years. The winning design is a tribute to the local landscape and the Danish building tradition, while also paving the way for a more modern church experience. Flexible spaces form a backdrop for both religious ceremonies as well as community events, inspiring new ways of using church space and expanding its typical functions. 

Contrary to the traditional nave, Højvangen has no apparent front or back. The baptismal font is the only permanent fixture, forming a central feature from which there are views of the forest, the church tower, the cemetery, and the existing church building. The large main room can be adapted to hold a range of events, with varying degrees of intimacy and openness enabled by the angled wall design. Traditional materials such as brick, oak and brass create a peaceful and timeless atmosphere, ensuring the church’s longevity in the community for generations.

The church’s façade is activated on all sides, with covered seating niches set into the colonnaded façade. From here, visitors and worshipers can take a secluded moment to seek peace, have a conversation, or just look out onto nature. The undulating façade changes in appearance according to the time of day and lighting conditions. Outside, a landscaped park and a courtyard provide space for outdoor activities and events for the local residents.

Henning Larsen partner Nina la Cour Sell stated: “With the new church in Højvangen, we want to be true to the theological tradition and at the same time reinterpret the church as a destination for present and future needs; a place that can accommodate both everyday life and celebrations, joy and mourning across generations.”

Højvangen Church is expected to be inaugurated on the 1st Sunday in Advent, 2024.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This tender was first published by TenderStream on 04.09.2020 here

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