Photography: Rock Church, HelsinkiMay 24, 2022
Burrow for notation, play for god
As one of the five Nordic countries, Finland has a special national culture, low profiled and introverted. The combination of Sisu spirit and Finnish design has created many Finnish myths. Unlike other churches based on brick and stone or wood structures, rock church is unique in the local area and even in the world.
Before building the church, there was only a small rocky hill, and no other suitable lands around. Proposals ranging from blasting the rock to build the church to preserving the status quo have attracted controversy. In the end, two architect brothers Timo Suomalainen and Tuomo Suomalainen from Hoagland stood out. Maybe because they grew up in an environment that was full of rock cliff caves, the concept of advocating natural design has long been deep in their subconscious.
The church is made by cutting directly into the rock and hollowing out the inside of the rock. From the outside, the church is much lower than the surrounding buildings. The walls inside and around the church retain the original texture and traces of construction from the stone cutting.
A pipe organ made up of 3,001 pipes hung on the wall, producing a sound that resonates with the surrounding rocks. The dome of the church is a 24 meters diameter circle witch is made up of 22 kilometers of coiled copper strips. It is connected by 100 radial reinforced concrete beams with rubble on the rock walls, which are blocked by glass, as if the dome is floating in the air from below.
The rubble on the rock face is a pile of rocks that were blown up during construction. Each stone is carefully selected. When it rains or melts snow, water droplets will seep out of the cracks in the rock and flow down the rock into the ground for drainage. The overall design reflects the primitive aesthetics of Finns who admire nature. The location of the altar in the church has been carefully calculated so that during summer services, sunlight will shine on the altar through the skylight, making the church more sacred.