Sunday, September 30, 2012

Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

This is one of our favourite buildings in Helsinki; designed by two brothers - Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen whose design preserved the existing rock bed and sunk their church building into it. This Lutheran church was completed in 1969, it was often used as a concert hall because of its excellent acoustics.

The strong colours of the pew cushions contrast the natural colours of the church and its surroundings

When we visited it; we were in a group of about 40 people whose talking quietened and gradually ceased as we entered the church through a long rock tunnel.

After we emerged at the other side of the rock tunnel, the noise level rose slightly - this is time it was not talking but quiet murmurs of wonder and admiration. There are many things to be in awe of; the solid rock walls which enclose the church hall bathed in soft light; no doubt the source of many a metaphor of religion's grounding and solidity. The skylights that ring the entire roof allows entry of soft autumn light, reinforcing the feeling of a light and floating ceiling of concentric copper bands.

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