Kamppi Chapel of Silence, Helsinki
Architect: K2S Architects
Built in: 2012
The Kamppi Chapel of Silence at the southern corner of the busy Narinkka Square in Helsinki creates a quiet place for contemplation, at the entrance of the Kamppi shopping center. The Chapel is intended to be a place where people can have a moment of silence and meet each other and offers an opportunity to calm down in the middle of Finland’s perhaps busiest area.
Actual church services or other holy events, such as baptizing or wedding ceremonies, are not organized at the Kamppi Chapel. However, regular moments of prayer are held at the Chapel.
The Chapel was designed by architects Kimmo Lintula, Niko Sirola and Mikko Summanen of K2S Architects Ltd. It is a sample of innovative wood architecture, and it received a lot of attention even before it was completed. For example, it was granted the International Architecture Award 2010 by The Chicago Athenaeum. The Kamppi Chapel was part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program.
The curved shape of the small-scale Chapel building allows the space and views to flow in the urban surroundings. The façades are constructed of horizontal spruce strips, bent at different radiuses. The wood is glazed with a special wax utilizing nanotechnology and the frame is prepared of massive gluelam beams, which were cut to shape.
The curved wooden façade looks as if it had been sanded by the pedestrian flow that constantly passes.