Temppeliaukio Church

Lutherinkatu 3

00100 Helsinki

Finland

 

Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen 1969

 

Temppeliaukio Church (also known as the Church of the Rock) is a Lutheran church in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki. The project comes from an architectural competition won by the architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1961. The design of their project was recognized by the jury as “completely original” and respectful of the competition goal to “include the organization plan for the whole Temppeliaukio Square with its park area and parking spaces, taking into attention that as great part as possible of the rock area of the square could be saved.”

 

 

The result is that the interior of the church was excavated and built into the rock. The sanctuary floor was located at the level of the highest street that ended at the square, Fredrikinkatu, so that the entrance leads the visitors directly inside the church without the need of stairs. The 24 m of diameter roof is made up of a copper plate-covered dome, connected to the natural rock wall by 180 window panes that let in natural light. Due to the varying height of the rock wall, each glass part of the roof is different in size. According to the studied disposition of the dome, this causes stronger illumination of the altar area.

 

 

Due to antichurch attitudes, leftist radicalism and rationalist architects that wielded power, who were hostile to this project, some of the planned building had to be cut . Construction began in February 1968 and ended in September 1969.

 

 

After the inauguration the Church started to enjoy general praise, and today is considered another masterpiece of Helsinki. It is frequently used as a concert venue because of its excellent acoustics.

 

 

 

Antonio Vitale 2009 (updated 2011)

 


 

How to visit

 

Temppeliaukio Church is in central Helsinki. The address is Lutherinkatu 3 but the entrance is just at the north end of Fredrikinkatu, 500 meters northwest from Kamppi bus station. The church is open on the following days and times: Monday, Wednesday 10-17, Tuesday 10-12.45 and 14-17.15, Thursday, Friday 10-20, Saturday 10-18, Sunday 11.45-13.45 and 15.30-18. An English mass is held Sunday at 14. Opening hours may vary according to occasions arranged in the church. Information about forthcoming events in Temppeliaukio Church are available in the official tourism website of the city of Helsinki.

 

Guidance for groups is available free of charge and must be booked in advance: call +358 (0)9 2340 5920 or +358 (0)9 2340 5900 (office) or email taivallahti.srk@evl.fi.

 


 

Books and other web sites


See a virtual tour of the exterior or interior.

 

Further information about the design history is at www.temppeliaukio.fi.

 

 

 

 

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