Government Office Building
Hämeenkylä Church is located in Vantaa, near the intersection of the Ring Road III and the Pori highway. The construction site is interesting in many ways: on one side lies the motorway and the lardge supermarket and warehouse buildings adjacent to it, but on the other side the church lies next to a small area of row houses. The landscape is dominated by a small valley-like park flanked by low-rise housing. On the slope side, the church harmonizes with the low-rise housing, but as it is the only building to penetrate the centre of the valley, it was given more monumental propositions. Thus, the new building is fitted into the landscape. Since it is higher than its surroundings, it dominates the landscape from all viewpoints.
The church was constructed around the parish hall, built in the 1960s on the slope. The main features utilized were the supporting concrete structures and the red brick end wall of the main foyer. The small chapel on the first floor was converted into the parish hall, which in turn meant that the church proper also had to be placed on an upper floor.
The approach to the church runs along the church knoll, following the row of silver willows along the ball field. The impressive gateway formed by the campanile and the church leads into the small entry yard, a tranquil outdoor space in this slightly restive environment. The courtyard provides access to the main foyer and directly to the church itself.
The altar wall is strongly oriented towards the east and the morning sun in the traditional church manner. However, the thick angled wall structure contains a further wall, which covers the landscape that would be visible beyond the altar. The only feature of this landscape visible in the natural light, which filters through the wall and changes the mood of the church as the times and seasons alter. The assymetrical natural lightning is complemented by the small glass block apertures above the niches.
The church’s ambitious works of art include relief-like sculptures by Martti Aiha, mainly placed in the altar niches, and paintings by Silja Rantanen.
The principal architect of the project was Olli-Pekka Jokela. At the competition phase in 1985, he collaborated with Kai Wartiainen. They were assisted by Jari Lepistö. In the later phases, Jokela was assisted by Anna-Maija Haukkavaara, Kirsti Jokela, Karola Sahi, Teemu Kurkela and Rainer Virtanen. Landscape architect Gretel Hemgård was in charge of the landscape design of the churchyard and graveyard.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 2/1993