Church of Oikumen: a structure made entirely of reused wood

The Oikumen Church was designed in Indonesia, by TSDS Interior Architect, in response to the urgent need to provide a place of worship for the local community and workers at a rubber plantation in Sajau.

This project was conceived as part of PT’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program. KMS, a company that works in the field of plantation, with the requirement that only wood from the local forest industry be used in its construction – wood from Bangkirai, Kapur, Meranti and Rimba.

The great challenge of the architecture studio was to use only one material as the creator of the entire space. However, the unique materiality approach created a unified architectural appearance, making wood an excellent protagonist of the entire structure.

The Church was inspired by the shape of the traditional elongated houses of Rumah Betang, found on the island of Bornéu, where it was built. It consists of a main hall and two small rooms behind the altar, for the use of the parish priest, topped by a mezzanine that was designed to be used by the musicians of the choir group. The walls and ceiling of the church, as well as the furniture, are also made of wood.

The façade is made of a mixture of Rimba wood, while Meranti wood was used inside, in order to create harmony in an environment that is spiritually pleasant.

The building was directed towards the main road and the spaces, organized considering the idea of privacy, were aligned as follows: the garden to receive visitors, the Church for the prayers of the faithful and, finally, the private areas where the priests live.

Although the local climate is extremely hot, the building is independent from artificial refrigeration – a high ceiling to encourage the cross ventilation system and surrounded by a covered walkway, protected from the sun by boards made of Rimba wood.

The church appears as a sustainable and visually pleasing structure that fulfills the traditions and materials available in Indonesia, while preserving the environment.

Source: Dezeen and Stirworld

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