Viikki Church

Viikki Church

Architect
JKMM Architects
Location
Helsinki, Finland
Project Year
2005
Category
Churches
Arno de la Chapelle

Viikki Church

JKMM Architects as Architects

The church forms the core of an area plan that will be implemented gradually. It extends into the narrowing scene amidst building fronts, between a park and a market place. The relationship between the church and its surroundings will be defined in time on the basis of drafts by JKMM Architects according to the winning entry of an architectural competition. The lines of the eaves echo the forms of a stand of trees and the building becomes part of the trees surrounding it.


The architectonic choices of the church were guided by prefabrication, as the church was built of factory-made components non-stop to completion. The building has been braced by attaching insulated outer wall elements to the pillars and the panels of the ceiling to the glulam beams. The paneling was already attached to the plate stiffener of the inner walls at the factory. The architecture of church hall was built in one go. The untreated and grey-aged façade has been clad in cleft aspen shingles and fine-sawn drop siding. The interior lining of spruce have been treated with a wash of lye, leaving them easy to clean and renew. The acoustic elements of the false ceiling are form pressed veneer elements.


Our idea of a space gouged in a forest is realized in the halls of the church. Architecture wishes to evoke impressions of the Finnish forest; of its sacredness and common nature. Dense wooden clustered columns and beams are architect-created structures. The structural idea is essentially defining the whole. The detail of the outer wall reflects a design concept by itself. The aim has been the all-wood atmosphere which is devout and uplifting. The furniture, furnishings and lighting has been tailor-made design by architects to suit the church’s activities. The hall’s stackable chair creates the impression of a long church pew. The altar furnishings, highlight by cleft aspen surfaces, are outlined against the tripartite silver surface altarpiece, whose wine-colored tones transform in light.


The church combines modern and ancient building methods, sophisticated and rough-hewn surfaces, location and purpose, temporality and eternity. The intention of the client has been to create a modern successor for the long tradition of Finnish wooden churches, which takes into account the ecological ideas and criteria of sustainability of the whole Viikki area.

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