The Tikkurila Church and Housing is featured in the June 2021 issue of the Finnish Architectural Review dedicated to theme of Sacred Space.
The Tikkurila Church, the Bethania Apartments, and the HOAS student housing form one unity with a diversity of functions serving the residents of Tikkurila, one of the fastest growing and ethnically diverse areas in the metropolitan region of Helsinki. Located in the vicinity of the Helsinki Vantaa airport, Tikkurila is an important center of industry and business in Vantaa. The Tikkurila Church and the adjoining housing are part of the transformation and densification of the downtown area of Tikkurila. The block that used to house the offices of the Vantaa parishes has now been turned into a multifunctional complex that offers a rich variety of services and amenities.
In his review of the project, architect and professor Pentti Kareoja describes the Tikkurila Church and Housing by OOPEAA as a weave of the sacral and the profane. Recognizing that the Tikkurila Church is Anssi Lassila’s fifth church design, Kareoja notes that Lassila’s church buildings “constitute a coherent, thematic arc of architectural expression.” Describing Lassila’s work, he continues: “In all the churches, a thoughtful range of materials and finishing details are brought together by an exceptionally sensitive understanding of the qualities of the location. The profane and the sacral shake hands.”
In the case of the Tikkurila Church, the notion of the sacral and the profane shaking hands is particularly appropriate as the church is integrated into a residential block and accompanied by an office wing as well as an apartment building also designed by OOPEAA with Anssi Lassila as the architect in charge. Noting how the deliberate simplicity of the design of the apartment building serves to support the hierarchical position of the church as the main star of the sculptural composition of the block, Kareoja writes: “The role of the office wing and residential buildings connected to the church is to act as the accompanists to the whole, a sort of profane drag on the chasuble. The details and spatial layout of the apartment buildings are devoid of any attention-seeking.”
With its lively multicolored brick façade and sculptural shape, the church takes on a strong presence on the town square in the heart of Tikkurila and forms an identifying landmark for the neighborhood. The multifunctional church building houses a range of flexibly adaptable spaces to accommodate a variety of uses. In its maximum capacity, the main church hall seats an audience of 500, and it is possible to divide the space to allow for multiple simultaneous activities. The building provides workspace for approximately 140 employees and offers several meeting spaces of various sizes to serve the community. There is also a café and a children’s corner. The inner courtyard binds together the church and the housing and provides a pleasant space for gatherings.
The construction of the Tikkurila Bethania Housing was completed in April 2021 and the new residents are already settling in. The construction of the church was completed in December 2021 and the inauguration of the church took place in January 2021. The Tikkurila Church was commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and realized as an alliance project together with the Vantaa Parishes, OOPEAA and Lujatalo. The Tikkurila Housing was jointly commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and by HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region. It offers a combination of student housing and apartments for affordable housing. In total there are 244 apartments in the complex, of which 162 are for students and 62 are affordable rental housing.
For the full article in the Finnish Architectural Review, see here.
For more information and images on the Tikkurila Church and Housing, see here.