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Kannelmäki church

Kannelmäki parish

03.04.2017, 15:33
The Kannelmäki church, completed in 1968, resembles a tabernacle, the shrine tent of the Israelites, which was light enough to take along and erect in a new, more bountiful place. Its shape speaks out against clinging to the past and staying put.

The Kannelmäki church, which resembles a tent or a Lapp hut, was designed by architects, Marjatta and Martti Jaatinen. The church was completed in 1968. It was expanded in 1992 and renovated in 1997.

The altar window is covered by the 31-metre wide glass mosaic, Elämänpuu (Tree of life), created by artist, Hilkka Toivola in 1972. The height of the work is over three metres. It has 111 mosaic panes. When completed, the glass painting, covering about 50 square metres, was the largest window artwork in Finland. The glass mosaic is at its best when the sun or the spotlights installed in the church park make all its colours glow.

A large wooden cross designed by interior architect, Kari Asikainen, is erected in the choir of the church. Its centre holds a gilded silver plate designed by silversmith, Börje Rajalin. Its cross-shaped opening has five red stones as emblems of Christ's wounds. The cross follows the shape of the church's layout. The four narrow skylights of the square-shaped church, radiating from the highest point of the ceiling towards the floor, form a cross, as do the four concrete pillars on top of the building with their cross-pillars, seen from different directions. Börje Rajalin designed the T cross for the bronze crucifix on the altar.

The ceiling of the church consists of four hyperbolic paraboloidal surfaces, made of seven centimetre thick reinforced concrete casing. The formwork imprint on the surface of the ceiling tells us about the architect's original plan to build a ceiling imitating the tabernacle of the Bible by hanging a light wooden ceiling from steel cables. However, this plan had to be scrapped. The four pre-stressed corner pillars support the weight of the church roof. Each has a load of 580 tonnes.

The internal height of the church is 24 metres. The external height up to the top of the concrete cross is 30 metres.

The altar furnishings are made to be light. Their material is ash. The shape of the altar illustrates its purpose to serve as a communion table. As the first assignment of his career as furniture designer, Kari Asikainen drew the bench chairs of the Kannelmäki church. The church textiles repeating the cross symbol were designed by textile artist, Vuokko Nurmesniemi; the church silver is by Börje Rajalin.

The organ, manufactured at the Kangasala organ factory and designed by cantor, Asko Rautioaho, has 29 stops. It was taken into use in 1970.

The low bell rack designed by the architects was not implemented. The digital bell melodies composed by Professor Taneli Kuusisto were recorded using the Myllypuro church carillon. They are heard from speakers located on top of the church.

The office, meeting and club facilities of the church are located in the annexe. On the second floor of the parish centre there is the vestry, two parish meeting halls, a chapel, a kitchen and club rooms. The upper lobby has a three-part painting by an unknown artist: the altarpiece of the parish centre which served as the first church of Kannelmäki. The upper lobby also houses a work by sculptor, Gunnar Finne, called Laulavat enkelit (Singing angels). The smaller parish meeting hall has the work, Luola (Cave) by the artist, Marika Mäkelä. In the chapel can be found an altarpiece designed by artist and architect, Uuno Alanko, and a red cross designed by Börje Rajalin.

The furnishing of the church, chapel, upper lobby of the parish centre and the parish meeting halls was all designed by Kari Asikainen.

The first floor of the parish centre houses the church register office, church social work office, working facilities and a bomb shelter. The parish centre was expanded in 1992 by building the missing youth facilities. The Nurkka child and youth centre has a room with a fireplace, club room, sound insulated music room and a children’s work office on the first floor. The second floor has a confirmation school hall, a kitchen and a lobby.

Celebrations at the church

Organising a baptism, a wedding or a funeral is free of charge at the church for members of the church.

The church seats 504. The big parish meeting hall seats 90 at tables, and the small about 35. The kitchen and the 100-piece coffee and dinner tableware set are at the disposal of the party organiser. For baptism and memorial services, there are also the Malminkartano chapel for 60 people, at Vellikellonpolku 8 and facilities at Jenny's activity centre for about 25 people, at Beckerintie 9.