Located in the town of Alta in Norway, the Cathedral of the Northern Lights was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and it resides at about 500 km above the Arctic Circle. This building has become an icon right after its construction was begun and is an extraordinary achievement, rising as a sculptural peak to contrast the natural environment around it.
The project started in 2001 as a competition proposed by the city of Alta and they wanted a landmark to attract the public towards the city as the perfect place from where to observe the northern lights phenomenon.
The architecture of the building actually symbolizes the Arctic northern lights through the spiral that rises to the top of the cathedral at 47 meters above ground level. The façade is covered in titanium offers a reflection of the phenomenon during the arctic winter’s perpetual darkness.
The interior of the cathedral is brightly illuminated and its materials provide a native feeling through the use of concrete walls, wooden floors, panels and ceiling. The exterior light enters through the tall windows of different sizes that are spiraling around the building.
Along with the main room which can host 350 persons, there are also administration offices, classrooms and exhibition areas together with the parochial area.