Kamppi Chapel is located in a corner of the Narinkkatori square in Helsinki, at the entrance of the Kamppi shopping center. The Chapel is intended to be a place where people can have a moment of silence and meet each other. It offers an opportunity to calm down in the middle of perhaps the busiest area in Finland.
The Chapel is operated, on a partnership basis, by the Helsinki parishes and the Social Services Department of the City of Helsinki. The parish unions of Espoo and Vantaa have also been involved in outlining the chapel activities. Parish and social services employees are in attendance at the Chapel for personal discussions. Different forms of voluntary work are being developed. Information about the services of the parishes and the Helsinki Social Services Department is also available at the Chapel.
Actual church services or other holy events, such as baptizing or wedding ceremonies, will not be organized at Kamppi Chapel, while the premises are open every day from morning till night for silent moments and meetings. However, regular moments of prayer are held at the Chapel.
The Chapel was designed by architects Kimmo Lintula, Niko Sirola and Mikko Summanen of K2S Architects Ltd. The Chapel is a sample of innovative wood architecture, and it received a lot of attention even before it was completed. For example, it was granted the International Architecture Award 2010 by The Chicago Athenaeum. The Kamppi Chapel was part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program.
The most imposing space in the Chapel is the main hall with its height of 11.5 meters. In the quiet chapel area, the busy surroundings have been consciously blocked out. Present are the light coming indirectly from above and the warm feel of the materials. The inner walls of the chapel area are lined with common alder planks cut to shape. The simple furnishing of the hall are made of massive ash tree. The silver cross at the altar was sculpted by artist blacksmith Antti Nieminen. Liturgical textiles in the Chapel were designed by textile artist Tiina Uimonen.
The facades are constructed of horizontal spruce strips, bent at different radiuses. The wood is glazed with a special wax utilizing nanotechnology. The frame is prepared of massive gluelam beams, which were cut to shape.
The curved shape of the small-scale Chapel building allows the space and views to flow in the urban surroundings. At the same time, the soft shape of the inside of the Chapel embraces the visitor in its safety.
The Chapel is approachable from every direction. From the Simonkatu street, the visitor arrives at a small square opening to the Narinkkatori square, and descends to the entrance level. Only the Chapel itself is inside the wooden frame. All other spaces are located in a pedestal-like section opening towards Narinkkatori. The entrance hall also functions as an exhibition and reception space. The Chapel is entered through the pedestal section made of glass, from both the Narinkkatori square and the direction of Lasipalatsi.