Suvela Chapel

PrizeBronze in Architectural Design / Institutional Architecture
Firm LocationSeinäjoki , Finland
Lead ArchitectAnssi Lassila
Design Teamproject architect: Iida Hedberg design team: Juha Pakkala, Teemu Hirvilammi, Jussi-Pekka Vesala, Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä, Anis Souissi, Miguel Silva ja Maritta Kukkonen
ClientParish of Espoo
Project Videohttp://

SUVELA Chapel With roughly one third of the inhabitants being of foreign descent, Suvela is one of the most multicultural districts in the Helsinki metropolitan region. Cultural diversity is both a rich potential and a challenge to the community. In the design for the Suvela Chapel and the adjacent community park, the goal was to create a building that offers opportunities for a rich variety of activities and provides a framework for the residents to come together in a flexibly adaptable and functional space. The chapel offers an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. It is a meeting place that serves members of the parish and other groups of people in the community alike. While the height of the building varies greatly with the chapel hall as the tallest part, all functions are placed on just one level, and the building wraps into a single U-shaped entity forming an intimate interior courtyard in the middle. The belfry is embedded in the main building volume providing further closure to the yard. The main chapel hall with its auxiliary spaces is located in the north-east part of the building. Offices and workspaces for the parish staff along with additional meeting spaces are located in the middle part. Spaces for children and the youth as well as spaces rented out to the community park are located in the west part of the building. The spaces occupied by the community park face outward to the park. All other spaces open to the interior yard. The building is a hybrid structure with wooden as well as concrete and steel elements. The presence of wood is most prominent in the tall chapel hall where the walls are covered with wooden scantlings. The exterior shell is entirely clad in copper to emphasize the unity of the varied volume of the building.