About

Category
Assembly buildings
Architect
Raili and Reima Pietilä Architects
Tags
church concrete dome stone
Gross area (m²)
1700
Competition
1979
Completion
1982

In Raili and Reima Pietilä´s oeuvre, the Lieksa Church is a unique example of using Classicist themes. It was built on the site of the wooden Pielisjärvi Church (C.L. Engel 1836), which was destroyed in a fire in 1979. Pietiläs won an invited competition the same year. The new building follows the cruciform plan of the old church, but the required secondary spaces make it somewhat asymmetrical.

The massive stone base, the white painted timber cladding and the dome also refer to Engel´s church. However, the new church was built using the latest concrete technology – for example, the dome is made up of prestressed arches and thin cylindrical shells. Natural light enters the inner space through the skylights between the double arches, thus creating a bright cross above the parishioners. The light cross is visible in the surrounding area. The large window behind the altar opens up a view towards the bell tower that survived the fire. In details, Pietiläs drew inspiration from traditional embroidery patterns typical of North Karelia region.

Location

Kirkkokatu 1, Lieksa
63.3132563, 30.0303283

Images

Reima Pietilä's sketch, Lieksa Church
Reima Pietilä's sketch, Lieksa Church (© Hanna Tyvelä)
Eastern facade, Lieksa Church
Eastern facade, Lieksa Church (© Hanna Tyvelä)
Church interior, Lieksa Church
Church interior, Lieksa Church (© Hanna Tyvelä)
View towards the old bell tower., Lieksa Church
View towards the old bell tower., Lieksa Church (© MFA)