Regardless of your political or religious belief, challenging life circumstances or a busy everyday, life sometimes requires a moment of reflection in silence. Traditionally, spaces of refuge and spirituality have been linked to specific beliefs, each with a different set of rituals and spatial concepts. Rarely have these spaces been designed to facilitate inclusion and the interaction between different audiences. A new type of building challenges this tradition by welcoming all people – regardless of belief – in a solemn space that is designed for both contemplation and conversation.
The Chapel of Silence introduces a place for silence and peace irrespective of religion, faith and origin. It is located in the lively commercial centre of Helsinki and built in Finnish wood as a sculptural volume.
The chapel’s free-floating massive inner wall is made of thick, oiled alder planks, and the furniture is made of solid wood, which makes the atmosphere warm and the acoustics comfortable. In the lobby anyone can meet and speak with clerical or social workers without an appointment. The rounded shape of the building and the light shining down on the curved surface provides a sanctuary from the vibrant urban surroundings.