Contemporary Worship: Kamppi Chapel of Silence
Best known for creating the Helsinki Olympic Stadium and an 170-room addition to the 1908 Paasitorni Hotel, K2S Architects recently completed the stunning Kamppi Chapel in the firm’s hometown of Helsinki, Finland.
“The Finnish Lutheran Church has a history of promoting contemporary architecture. . .What makes a great difference in Kamppi Chapel is the cooperation between the city and the church,” says Mikko Summanen, one of the firm’s three partners. “Here, one is able to meet both a priest and a social worker. This is a totally new form of activity and is naturally reflected in the architecture and Christian symbolism.”
Accordingly, the architecture and geometry stems from the site and the function, not from religious traditions. In the first six months since the chapel opened, there have been more than 250,000 visitors. Some may have been there solely to appreciate the stunning architecture, but others came to satisfy their spiritual needs, says Summanen.
“The fact is that in all western countries traditional churches are struggling and they need to find new forms to confront and serve people,” he continues. “In the case of Kamppi, this is done by offering a place of silence and contemplation for all people next to one of the busiest commercial centers in Finland.”