OOPEAA completes copper-wrapped suvela chapel in finland
OOPEAA completes copper-wrapped suvela chapel in finland OOPEAA completes copper-wrapped suvela chapel in finland
jan 10, 2017

OOPEAA completes copper-wrapped suvela chapel in finland


it has been six years since OOPEAA received the commission to design and realize the ‘suvela chapel‘ in espoo, finland. the goal was to create a building that would encapsulate a sense of individual identity while being respectful to its function and multicultural context.

image here and above © mika huisman (all other images © marc goodwin / archmospheres)



led by architect anssi lassila, OOPEAA’s resulting build is a hybrid structure using wood, concrete and steel elements. most distinctively, is the copper-wrapped envelope, chosen for its sustainable properties and further strengthens the material expression conveyed throughout the project. the layout is organized to facilitate the variety of activities and bring local residents together within a functional and inviting space. finland is known for its harsh and long winters and in turn, this has influenced the importance in the role of interior spaces within architecture. the communal indoor areas inside the suvela chapel offers an approachable gathering area wrapped in wood.

the exterior shell is entirely clad in copper to emphasize the unity of the varied volume of the building



only set on a single floor, the human scale has allowed it to become a dynamic place of activity due to its location of various functions which has determined the irregular roof pitches. natural sunlight has been capitalized to softly illuminate the interiors and the texture of the wood extenuates light and shadow.  as well as serving as a place of worship, there is afternoon care and day care services for children. in addition, the building offers office space for the employees of the parish, as well as for social workers and family services provided for helping people in their various needs in their lives. a soup kitchen providing food for a very low cost is operating in the premises as well.

local spruce is the material used in the interiors



‘copper was an ecological choice of material for the exterior. it is both durable and recyclable and therefore sustainable. it also ages well and acquires a beautiful patina over time.’ – anssi lassila, founder of OOPEAA

the presence of wood is most prominent in the tall chapel hall where the walls are covered with timber scantlings

in finland, public buildings, such as schools and libraries, as well as churches and chapels are open to all

the chapel serves as meeting place of the parish and other groups of people in the community alike

the main chapel hall with its auxiliary spaces is located in the north-east part of the building

there is afternoon care for children after school as well as day care services for younger children

the interior functions influenced the pitches and roof sizes of the volume

the nearby community park is also planned by OOPEAA

the suvela chapel was commissioned by the espoo parish union














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