Dynamic parish community centre with distinctive angled roof

The new parish community centre in Jelling blends in elegantly with its surroundings, but is nevertheless an impressive structure. Perhaps because the building has been conceived from both outside and within. However, a walk to the top of the historic south mound opposite puts it all into perspective.

Troldtekt - Jelling Sognehus
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Jelling, outside Vejle in Jutland, is steeped in history, and a new archaeological find in 2006 near the Jelling stones and burial mounds kick-started the process of building a new parish community centre in the town. The Jelling mounds, runic stones and church are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and constructing something new in the town required a sensitive and considerate approach.

The new parish community centre is now closer to the church as well as to the Home of the Viking Kings museum. The two mounds stand prominently near the centre of this small railway town, and from them it is possible to see much of the surrounding area, in which the parish community centre stands as a coherent building. It is well-integrated with the townscape on its narrow plot, while enjoying a sense of sculptural independence. The same tiles have been used to clad both the roof and the façades, giving the building its monolithic identity. The building is also distinguished by its large windows sections, which create an open and inviting feel.

The longitudinal double-height foyer is like a public path through the building, and which is emphasised by the large sloping ceiling surface with wood lamellae. The building must be experienced just as much from the outside as from within. The large window sections bathe the interior in natural light while affording views of the church and the mounds.

The sloping ceiling, which beneath the lamellae is clad with Troldtekt acoustic panels, creates a wonderful sense of space. The two main rooms in the building as well as its other facilities have horizontal ceilings, where distinct rows of white-painted Troldtekt panels produce a calm look. The Troldtekt acoustic panels are separated by neat strips of plywood. The same round light fittings have been used on all the ceilings for a consistent look throughout. All the materials for the community centre have been very carefully selected: the roof and façades are concrete and tile, with wood, glass and Troldtekt inside. A parish community centre that is distinguished by a strong interplay between the interior and exterior environments.

The project has received funding from by the A. P. Møller Foundation.