The Suvela Chapel has been chosen as the winner of the Accessibility Award of the Year 2017 awarded by the Espoo Disability Council.
The Accessibility Award was established in 2014 and it has been awarded annually since then making this the fourth time it was given out. The award aims to recognize a service, company, community, realized idea, person, building or activity in the city of Espoo that has made a significant contribution to making services accessible to us all and to facilitating easy physical access to them.
This year there were 14 nominations for the award. The Suvela Chapel was chosen the winner, and the Kino Tapiola, the Sello Shopping Center and the transportation service of the Espoo Disability Services received honorary mentions. The award was given out by Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo in the Espoo Day celebration on August 25, 2017.
The Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA was commissioned by the Espoo parish union and it is used jointly by the Parish of Suvela, the Swedish Parish of Suvela, and the City of Espoo. It offers an easily approachable and accessible space with a human scale and an inviting atmosphere. It provides a home base for many different organizations forming a dynamic place of activity. It is a meeting place that serves the entire community.
The chapel is centrally located in Suvela and it is easily accessible by public transportation. Accessibility has been carefully considered in the design and realization of the building. All functions and services are placed on one level and there is easy access from the chapel lobby to the spaces for the youth as well as to the spaces used by the community park and the kindergarten. The activities and services provided by the chapel also reflect a commitment to accessibility in the multicultural community. The staffis helpful and dedicated to creating an atmosphere that promotes accessibility and openness.
The chapel with its the adjoining community park was inaugurated in September 2016 and it has been well received by the community.
For information on the Accessibility Award in Finnish, see here.