In the design of the Polish Log Church the architect attempts to transform traditional log churches and traditional timber buildings into unique, modern architectural design. This project can initiate an important discussion on the conditions of Polish sacral architecture.
Wooden log churches give Polish landscapes enormous architectural value. Their unusual structures as works of elite wood-crafting became very particular artistic form in European-scale, preserving their individual character to date.
The Polish Log Church project is a link-up of traditional vernacular form of log church and simplistic unification of contemporary design. Our goal is to give the project more value. Secondly, we wanted to re-create and re-use traditional architectural concepts. Therefore, we used the log house construction system, but turned on 90˚. The reversal includes directions as well as materials used. In that way, the doors were given the forms of traditional roofs covered in wood shingle, while stone substructure is turned into altar. Elements of the log system constitute not only side walls but also the floor and the ceiling. Differential level of the floor, entrance stairs and raised altar were made thanks to relocation of some of these timber elements of the log system. In turn, moving down wooden beams of the ceiling provides light and sun into the main nave.
The two other church walls – frontal and rear - are made with usage of traditional materials: the doors – wood shingle, altar wall – stone. The futuristic doors wall bends as irregular forms of the roofs of historical churches. Straight up over the doors a geometrical bell was designed.
The monumental altar wall with cross shaped cutout in the middle (through which light gets into the interior) creates a mystical atmosphere and leads our focus on to the sanctuary.
The tapered and simple interior makes us notice assets of traditional wood shingle, on the other hand, one can tell that this is by far a contemporary interior design – very minimalistic and calm.
Simple form leads us to the main function of the church as a house of prayer. Light is the sole ornament. It is filtrated subtly through timber beams of the roof. It helps in creating chiaroscuro contrast depending on the time of the day and also makes the atmosphere of contemplation.
A combination of modernity and tradition is pivotal in this project. The glass, the pull-out roof or the western wall do not compete with the wooden interior whatsoever..
The central nave is an open, spacious, tapered space. The Polish Log House achieves reinvention and regeneration of seemingly forgotten historical methods, turning a spotlight on their relevance in contemporary architecture.