Sacred space and simple materiality

Story in brief

In brief

Refined, craft-like handling of materials makes the Tikkurila Church stand out from its surroundings. The formal concept succeeds in bringing together different functions with clarity, while the casual ambiance of the interiors is conceived with an elegant palette of colour and texture. Stylish furnishings and careful detailing resonate with an aesthetic approach characteristic of smart office or hotel interiors. A heightened spiritual quality can nevertheless be found in the great church hall, where a nod towards the iconic Ronchamp chapel by Le Corbusier could be seen in some of the formal elements.

Located in the metropolitan area of Helsinki in Finland, Tikkurila is a transport hub and residential district. The new church by OOPEAA marks the first phase of a major urban transformation. It was commissioned to replace an older building that was demolished and now forms part of a rebuilt urban complex with student housing, residential buildings and offices.

As a young architect Anssi Lassila adopted a vernacular style log-building technique for the Kärsämäki church, which had lots of exposure in international media exemplifying an archaic materiality. Since then the architectural approach of OOPEAA, the architectural office of which Lassila is the founder, has become known and awarded for a simple and honest use of materials, especially wood. In their recent design for the Tikkurila church, completed this year, local spruce timber has been combined with in-situ poured concrete to express modest and inclusive spirituality.

Marianna Wahlsten


Nikhilesh Haval




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