Bagsværd Church is a Lutheran church in Bagsværd on the northern outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. The building is considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary church architecture, especially its bright, naturally illuminated interior and its ceiling straddled with softly-rounded vaulting.
In 1538, the church in Bagsværd was pulled down on the orders of the king so that the stones could be used to repair the old Catholic bishop's palace. Thereafter, the parishioners had to use the church in Gladsaxe though there was increasing interest in building a new church in Bagsværd. It therefore came as no surprise that the congregational council took special interest in the church Utzon had included in a competition exhibit for the town centre in Farum when it was displayed at an architectural exhibition. Utzon accept the offer to build new church in Bagsværd.
There were a series of difficulties over the funding of the building which finally cost DKK 10 million after Utzon had reduced its size by 10 percent and the Gladsaxe municipality had contrbuted DKK 1 million. A building permit was granted in 1973 but, experiencing financial difficulties, the church ministry quickly attempted to halt construction. However, before their ruling came into force, the contractors Christiani & Nielsen established a presence on the site allowing work to begin. The new church was consecrated on 15 August 1976.
Located on a narrow plot in a suburban setting, the building itself is narrow, and has an austere façade which encloses the various rooms and a number of small courtyards. Surrounded by birch trees, the exterior walls are faced with white prefabricated concrete panels and white glazed tiles. The aluminium roof gives the church a rather industrial look. Glass sections provide lighting over the connecting corridors. Covering an area of 1,700 square meters, the tight geometrical plan consists of three sections and a courtyard between two parallel corridors. The rectilinear, modular structure of the building and its integrated courtyards, as well as the connecting corridors, are said to be inspired by the design of Buddhist temples in China.
The interior includes the nave and sacristy, offices, rooms for confirmation classes, a meeting room, and a whole section for youth activities. They are all linked by wide corridors which run both through the building and along the external walls where they are illuminated by skylights.
The vaulted ceiling is made of reinforced concrete shells, only 12 centimetres thick and spanning 17 metres. The curved cylindrical shells rest on flanges supported by rows of double columns which act as flying buttresses. A notable feature of the church is the natural lighting, facilitated by the all-white interior. It is achieved by means of high lateral windows across the entire width of the nave or, in the case of the smaller rooms, through sidelights bringing daylight in from the courtyards. In addition, there are extensive skylights.