Fensmark parish house


A parish house is many houses

  • LocationFensmark
  • ProgramParish house
  • ClientThe parish councils of Fensmark and Rislev
  • Size600 sqm
  • Year2024
  • CollaboratorsNiemann Entreprise, AJ Consult

The new parish house at Fensmark church gives room to multiple functions and activities. The needs of two parish councils and a variety of users of different ages and with different ressources must be met. At the same time, the building must merge naturally with its historic surroundings by taking the the existing qualities into account. The result is a parish house, that not only gathers people but also the church facilities as a whole. The new building lies beautifully in line with the church and the the residence of the priest, once the childhood home of famous Danish lyric poet Christian Winther. Instead of adding new elements, we simply reuse the existing materials to create a contemporary parish house, which respects the past.

By placing the three buildings in a triangle, they are visually connected.

Fensmark church is a typical Danish village church with white limewashed walls and red tile roof enclosed by a outer wall in the same materials. Lower garden walls divide the outdoor zones. We continue the original church wall, which transforms into the façades of the parish house. Besides carrying the roof construction, the walls also function as practical retaining walls, dealing with the different height levels of the garden.

It has been imperative for the client that the parish house has a strong visual connection to the church.

The interior is divided into two overall zones, one for the priests and administration and another for the public facilities. Each activity room can be divided into two rooms by mobile walls and activities can extend into the outdoor areas, providing great flexibility.


In the parish garden, wild grasses and flowers create a small paradisical wildlife meadow with butterflies, birds and buzzing insects. The paths in the garden are naturally trodden and connect almost invisibly to the church and the parking lots and the area's system of asphalt and gravel paths. The garden is a homage to Christian Winther's poems praising the untamed forces of Nature.