Detmerode Church and Parish Centre
The village of Muurame lies a few miles south of Jyväskylä, the town where Alvar Aalto grew up and opened his first architectural practice in 1923, so it was only natural for the parish council to commission its new church from the closest qualified architect.
Aalto had made his first trip to Italy in 1924. His travel impressions are much in evidence in the church of Muurame, with the tall campanile on one side of the rounded chancel, the single-aisle interior with a barrel vault originally painted blue over a system of joists, and the parish hall in the form of a side chapel to the right of the chancel. A staircase leads down from this room to an exit with a loggia in Brunelleschi style. The vestry is in the bell tower at the level of the chancel.
Aalto worked out the interior with great care, preparing numerous detail drawings. The furnishings, designed fairly late in the project, took on elements of Aalto’s ‘conversion’ to Functionalism in 1928. Thus, Danish PH lamps were used for interior lighting, and the vestry furniture was of tubular steel.
The church has been renovated in 2016 by ARK-Kantonen Architects.