Christians, Muslims and Humanists plan first neutral philosophical building in Oslo – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

En av skissene til et mulig nytt bygg der troende og ikke-troende kan møtes under samme tak

It all started with the church’s reaction to the fact that no religious building was planned when Oslo was to begin the capital’s largest urban development project, Hoevenbein.

They invited others and now Christians, Muslims and humanists are working together to develop the idea of ​​a common building in Oslo. Initial sketches of what this might look like have already been made.

A prayer room in a brick building, as envisioned by architecture student Ingrid Mathilde Steen Chapier in one of the proposals for an open house

Architecture student Jean Kenneth Tekson Andersen's idea of ​​what such a building might look like

Architecture student Jean Kenneth Tekson Andersen’s idea of ​​what such a building might look like. In this model, Christians, Muslims and Humanists each have their own room, but have a common entrance, office and other common areas.

Celine Montaro

The exterior of the building, as envisioned by Céline Montaro. It envisions six different buildings where Humanists, Christians and Muslims were its main building and the other three buildings are shared with an office, kitchen and cafe.

Architecture student Markus Bengson's idea of ​​an open building, where many small and large rooms can be combined in different ways.  Two groups under one roof

A flexible shared building with many small and large rooms as envisioned by architecture student Marcus Bengson. The building can also house activities such as dance, therapy, and yoga.

Drawn by Heiji Martin Socha Soyoto and Wallans

An illustration of what one of the sacred chambers might look like inside. Created by architecture student Heig Martin Socha Soyoto Wulan.

The architecture students who drew the drawings draw on a plot of land in Hovinbyen where today there is a temporary swimming pool.

Architecture students from the School of Architecture and Design in Oslo created the models

Diagram: Architecture students from the School of Architecture and Design in Oslo: From left: Celine Montaro, Heig Martin Socha Soyoto Wollan, Ingrid Mathilde Steen Schaper, Jan Kenneth Tekson Andersen and Marcus Bengson stand in the foreground.

Photo: Jorunn Hatling/nrk

A room for faith and outlook on life

Originally, the plan was to create a multi-religious building. Some of the Speech Pleym in the Human-Ethical Association have been highly critical:

Bleim's Tale

Be Decisive: Pleym’s speech at the Human-Ethical Association was critical of multi-religious construction, but positive if you describe it as open-minded.

– (…) Because after that it does not include us and everyone who does not believe in God. So I’m glad we went from there.

The Bishop of Oslo, Carrie Wittberg, agrees that it should be an open philosophical building. The purpose is for both believers and non-believers to feel welcome.

Archbishop Carrie Wittberg of Oslo

Enthusiasm: Oslo’s Bishop Carrie Wittberg thinks such a building signals the future.

Photo: Mary Butt / NTB scanpix

– I’m just so inspiring. I think this may be a sign. If we get a room or more rooms to believe and look to life in our city, we are showing the way to the future.

Sunaid Kuplica in the Islamic Dialogue Network also supports the idea:

The government at a meeting on measures to combat Islamophobia.

Positive: Sinead Koplica at the Islamic Dialogue Network

Photo: Berit Roald / NTB

– It’s definitely very sexy.

One House and the Cathedral of Hope

Many places have similar buildings. In Berlin, “One House” is now being completed.

One house: a German priest, an Israeli rabbi and a German-Turkish imam gather to symbolically build one house in 2014

Inspiration: The “One House” in Berlin is a building that will be shared by Jews, Muslims and Christians. According to the plan, it will be completed in 2026.


It will be a common building for Muslims, Christians and Jews in the German capital. The purpose of the building is to create more dialogue and understanding between different religions and world viewpoints.

This is the plan for one house in Berlin

In Fredrikstad, the “Cathedral of Hope” was built with something of the same starting point. The multi-faith cathedral is made of plastic from the sea and was inaugurated by Crown Princess Mette-Marit last summer. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and shamans all participated in various ceremonies at the cathedral in Fredrikstad.

Cathedral of Hope in Fredrikstad

Hope and Inspiration: The Hope Cathedral in Fredrikstad is made of plastic from the sea and is open to different beliefs and perspectives on life. The building was opened by Crown Princess Mette-Marit last summer.

Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB

Lost good homes

There are many churches in Oslo. Many other denominations lack good venues for weddings, affirmations, and funerals. Here’s what Tale Pleym of the Society for Human Ethics says:

For us, it’s specifically about the party rooms. We have a growing number of confirmers. We have more supporters than the church in Oslo.

Although Christians, Muslims and humanists are now working on this, all religions and worldviews are invited.

how would you look

On Wednesday, students at Artiktekthøyskolen in Oslo presented their ideas on how to design such a building. The head of the Islamic Dialogue Network, Sinead Koplica, likes the idea behind the graphics:

What distinguishes all the achievements is one roof. This in itself says a lot.

far ahead

It’s too early to say if the building will see daylight.

City Council for Culture, Sports and Volunteering, Omar Sami Jamal doesn’t want to promise anything now, but writes to NRK that he thinks it’s great with an initiative to strengthen community and diversity in Oslo:

Counselor of the City of Culture, Sports and Volunteering in Oslo Omar Sami Jamal

Cultural initiative: the city’s advisor for culture, sports and volunteering in the municipality of Oslo, Omar Sami Jamal.

Photo: Sturlason

It is exciting to see different religious and philosophical communities unite with a common desire to contribute to the development of our city. I see that there is still an exciting debate between the different religious and philosophical communities about what kind of home it really should be, and the idea process is followed with great interest. Building a house of worship is not a municipal task.

Bishop Wittberg hopes that politicians will now come to the fore:

– Now it is just an encouragement to politicians. That’s why we have to get it!

Kobilica at the Islamic Dialogue Network agrees:

What we need at a time when polarization is a huge problem is political will.

King’s speech in 2016

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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