The Suvela Chapel has been nominated one of the four final candidates for the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2016

 The Finlandia Prize

The Finlandia Prize for Architecture was established in 2011 by SAFA, the Finnish Association of Architects. The Finlandia Prize for Architecture is awarded to a design or renovation design for an outstanding new building or building complex that has been completed within the past three years. The Prize promotes the appreciation of high-quality architecture and aims to highlight the importance of architecture in producing cultural value and increasing well-being. This year, the Finlandia Prize for Architecture winner will be selected by Paavo Lipponen, former prime minister of Finland.

The Jury

The shortlist of the four final candidates was created by a jury composed of four members: Pirjo Sanaksenaho, Professor of Building Design Aalto University and Director of SOTERA Research Institute, Sari Nieminen, Artist Professor, Eero Lunden, Founder and Director of Lunden Architecture, and Janne Pihlajaniemi, partner of m3 Architects and Professor of Architecture at Oulu University. Paula Huotelin, Secretary General of Safa, the Association of Finnish Architects served as the secretary of the jury.

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 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.

The Suvela Chapel will be inaugurated on September 4, 2016.