Harjavalta church is placed on the graveyard next to the Kokemäki river. Pekka Pitkänen won the invited competition of a new church with his proposal “Kala” [Fish]. The old, wooden church from 1750’s had been rebuilt in 1870s according to plan by G.T. Chiewitz. It is located next to the plot of the new church.
The church is planned to give varying space for different services. The main hall has space for 350 people, and the balcony has 90 seats. The service chapel, which can be joined with a movable wall, seats 70, the choir space 30 and a separate space for children 10, 550 people in total. A central starting point for the design was the use of an old 17th-century pulpit of the old wooden church. Another historical item influencing was a 15th-century crucifix, which was placed in front of the altar window. The altar wall was placed at a 45-degree angle to the main axes of the old church.
The façade and the principal material of the interiors is dark brown brick, laid with very wide mortar seams with a coarse stone, partly washed out. Floors are of Gotland limestone, polished to a semi-gloss finish. The altar is a monolith of the same stone. The church also serves for burials. The is a mortuary in the northwest corner. A wide glass door opens to the graveyard to the west of the altar. Many details are in natural wood. The finishings are less polished than in Pitkänen’s other works. The exterior of the church is sculptural, and the church is topped by a belfry on the roof. A fire stair for the balcony forms a small tower in the north.
Text: Mikko Laaksonen