Tikkurila Church

OOPEAA wins with Lujatalo the alliance completion for the new church in Tikkurila

Competition, Winning Entry
October 25, 2017

OOPEAA’s proposal, Church in the City was selected as winner in the competition for a new church in Tikkurila. The church will be built by Lujatalo in alliance with OOPEAA through a collaborative design process in which the architect and the builder develop the project together in a close relationship with the client. Also the competition entry was developed in collaboration between the architect and the builder, and the collaborative process was considered as a factor in the competition evaluation.

Located in the eastern half of the metropolitan area of Helsinki, Tikkurila is the administrative and commercial hub of Vantaa and it has about 220 000 inhabitants. The goal for the Church in the City project is to create a church building that serves the community in its many needs in multiple ways as well as offers office and meeting spaces for social services and parishioners in Tikkurila.

While the building offers work spaces that support contemporary work styles, it also serves as a meeting place for people in their everyday activities as well as for special occasions. The church hall will seat an audience of 500 in its maximum capacity, with the possibility to divide the space in various ways to accommodate multiple simultaneous activities according to need. There will be workspace for up to 143 people in the building with several meeting spaces of various sizes and levels of openness or privacy to accommodate the people of the neighborhood with a café, a yard to serve as a gathering space in the summer months, and a shop area.

The church is integrated in a block that will also contain an adjoining apartment building that offers social housing and student housing. The Bethania Housing is included as an option to be built concurrently with the church as the project progresses. It will be composed of 185 units in a total of 11 700 layer square meters.

The new church firmly takes its place in a centrally located block in the center of Tikkurila. It is both bold and subtle in its character with the main church hall rising tall and completing the block in a well-balanced dialogue with the surrounding buildings. With a strong presence in the streetscape, it forms an identifying landmark for the neighborhood. In the interiors, the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed and the scale of the building takes the personal experience of people as its starting point.

Accessibility is one of the central guiding principles of the design. The building offers a range of flexibly adaptable spaces accommodating a variety of uses and it is easily accessible by public transportation as well as by foot and by bicycle. Also the shape and the scale of the building follow the principle of accessibility. While the scale is lower and more moderate around the entrances, it grows bigger and taller in the part containing the main church hall reaching high towards the light that enters into the space in a delicately subtle manner.

In the choice of materials, the principles of life cycle sustainability and longevity are key. In the interiors, the color palette is light, with wood and brick as the main surface materials. Burnt brick is the main material used in the exterior with dark roof tiles giving character to the slanted roof surfaces. They are both materials that age well acquiring a beautiful patina over time. A building is like a person, with the signs of age and experience adding to its beauty in telling their enchanting story.

The church is commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and it is slated to be ready in 2020. The Bethania Housing will be commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and by HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region.

For a press release on the competition in Finnish, see here.

  • PLACE:
    Tikkurila, Vantaa - Finland

    multifunctional church with social housing block

    Parish of Tikkurila

    3 500 m2 (Church)
    11 725 m2 (housing)

    1st price in alliance competition in collaboration with Lujatalo Oy


    Anssi Lassila

    Iida Hedberg

    Kazunori Yamaguchi, Juha Pakkala, Tanja Vallaster, Hanna Jahkonen,Timo Etula, Liisa Heinonen