A chapel of design

This summer I discovered something in Helsinki that I found absolutely fantastic and incredible: a very simplistic, curved-shaped chapel made of wood in the heart of the Finnish capital. Let me present you, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence! One of the world’s most stylish chapels:

Would you have guessed that this is a chapel?

Would you have guessed that this is a chapel?

The Chapel was completed in 2012, the year when Helsinki was World Design Capital 2012. This urban and spiritual project was designed by K2S Architects Ltd, who describe the project like this “This small wooden chapel introduces a place for silence and peace in the lively commercial centre of Helsinki. The chapel space is located in a sculptural wooden volume. The interior is warm and enclosed from the surrounding urban life. Indirect toplight enlightens the wooden chapel interior.”

My first impression was very powerful. I loved the outside design. Even if the Chapel somehow looks like nothing and could-be-anything at the same time, it is very elegant. It is one of a kind. I loved how the sun rays touched the wood (wood that was glazed with wax by using nanotechnology, says the brochure of the Chapel).

The wood used in the chapel has been glazed with wax. Nanotechnology was used in this method, but do not ask me in what way.

The wood used in the chapel has been glazed with wax. Nanotechnology was used in this method, but do not ask me in what way.

I was sort of nervous to walk in. Would the inside match the beauty of the outside?

Judging by these photos, I am sure you will agree with me that it did. It was at the same time imposing and down to earth. Quiet and present. Difficult to describe.

If you haven't found the type of church you feel comfortable in, try the Kamppi chapel in Helsinki, Finland.

If you haven’t yet found the type of church you feel comfortable in, try the Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki, Finland.

During the time of my visit there were numerous tourists from France, Russia and Japan, but I could also witness young children popping in, alone, on their way from the sports to home. In some ways I felt happy that a religious place managed to attract the younger generation. Even if they didn’t come in for spiritual reasons (but what do I know, maybe they did!), they came in, stayed quiet, looked around, observed, took photos and left. It seemed like they appreciated the place and the feeling in it, and to me this represents the most powerful “recognition of success” the architects could ever receive!

The Kamppi Chapel attracts many kinds of visitors: photographers, architects, tourists, but also curious locals.

The Kamppi Chapel attracts many kinds of visitors: photographers, architects, tourists, but also curious locals.

Even if you may have very little time in Helsinki, make sure you visit this chapel only 5 minutes away from the railway station by walking. It is open from Monday to Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and from Saturday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To be found on Facebook here: Kampin kappeli.

For more information:

K2S Architects: http://www.k2s.fi/
ArchDaily article: and http://www.archdaily.com/252040/kamppi-chapel-k2s-architects/
..and lastly, a photograph of the Q&A I took in the Chapel:

This Q&A may answer your additional questions!

This Q&A may answer your additional questions!

25 thoughts on “A chapel of design

      1. Miia Post author

        I have a memory black out today. I cannot think of the material in Finnish (forget English!). If it comes back I will let you know πŸ™‚

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    1. Miia Post author

      I only discovered it now. Maybe I had walked by it before, without paying attention to it or realizing what it is –I cannot remember. Anyhow, I fell in love with this small architectural pearl! Glad you like it too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Packing my Suitcase

        I can happen in any long weekend πŸ˜€ Im always open to trips, mostly it depends on ticket prices, but me and my husband always wanted to go to Tallinn, St Petersburg and Helsinki all together… but if it doesnt work like that I wouldnt mind only going for the weekend πŸ˜€

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      2. Miia Post author

        Hey, if I may suggest, do Helsinki and Tallinn in one trip, and St Petersburg separately.

        You can fly Air Berlin (I think) to Helsinki, spend 3 full days there, then take a fast and cheap ferry to Tallinn, spend two full days there, and fly from Tallinn back home.

        St Petersbug is much bigger and takes more time. Even the most important museums take time…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Miia Post author

        I will be in Helsinki next summer, probably not earlier. But let me know if you plan to go earlier and I can help otherwise. Moreover, I would strongly recommend to go between June-August. Skip the autumn months, grey and rainy. If you get lucky with weather, February and March can be nice, but you just never know about Finland πŸ˜‰

        I think St Petersburg you can go any time of the year. I used to study there around -95 and I am kind of afraid to go back. I think I would be disappointed to see all those luxury shops… But maybe I am wrong! My husband is eager to go, but I am also bothered by the Ukraine thing… πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Packing my Suitcase

        Sounds great to me!!! Then I will plan to go between June and August πŸ™‚ I will let you know closer!!

        I have a few friends from St Petersburg, and would love to visit it someday!! Lets see when it happens… at the moment my list is endless and not enough vacation days nor money hahaha πŸ˜€

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