The design of the parish centre is based on the winning entry in an invited competition held in spring 1981.

The environment – an anonymous shopping centre and a housing area – prompted the decision that the parish centre, like a church, should be an independent building, not subordinated to its surroundings.

The building was oriented with the largest spatial entity, i.e. the parish halls, in the foreground to accentuate the function and importance of parish activities in the service centre. The lower section on the Koivumaantie side, facing the service centre, links up the parish centre with the scale of the adjacent buildings.

The sunny side of the building contains outdoor facilities for children and old people. Access to the parking area, which is behind the main building mass, is arranged according to the town plan directives. Protection of trees was one of the determining factors for planning the building and outdoor facilities.

The plan is based on a high central gallery linking up through one of the main entrances with a pedestrian and bicycle path Vaalanpolku. The other main entrance receives visitors coming from the direction of Myllyoja and the car park.

The central hall is flanked by the parish halls and their service space on one side and by service and club facilities with a separate entrance on the other. This arrangement permits the undisturbed simultaneous use of the various facilities.

The form and spatial configuration of the building contain references to traditional church architecture. The building represents the style of the Postmodernist ‘Oulu School’ that had a breakthrough in the 1980s.The ceremonial emphasis of the central entrance area, is intended to make all visitors, including those who use the many secular facilities, pause to thing of the ultimate purpose of the building. The lower and more mundane clubrooms are cosy, intimate and functional.

Both the desing and main building material – red brick throughout , even for the bearing structures – called for the use of old handicraft construction methods.

Construction got under way in 1982; the builing was completed in the spring of 1983 and consecrated on August 24, 1983.

Source: Finnish Architectural Review 4/1985

Location

Koivumaantie 2, Oulu
65.0201542, 25.5521695

Images

Overall view, Myllyoja Parish Centre
Overall view, Myllyoja Parish Centre (© Raimo Ahonen / MFA)
Gallery corridor, Myllyoja Parish Centre
Gallery corridor, Myllyoja Parish Centre (© Ilpo Okkonen / MFA)
Parish hall, Myllyoja Parish Centre
Parish hall, Myllyoja Parish Centre (© Jukka Laaksonen / MFA)
Axonometric drawing, Myllyoja Parish Centre
Axonometric drawing, Myllyoja Parish Centre (© Juha Pasanen & Lasse Vahtera)
Sections and the floor plan, Myllyoja Parish Centre
Sections and the floor plan, Myllyoja Parish Centre (© Juha Pasanen & Lasse Vahtera)

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