About

The first architectural competition for the church was organised in 1933. Unhappy with the results, the competition committee announced a new competition in 1936. In this second competition, most of the entries employed a tower in the dominant street axis. The project was assigned to professor J. S. Sirén, second runner-up in the competition, but the implementation was terminated by the Winter War. In 1961, a third competition was organised and it was won by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.

In the Suomalainen brothers’ winning proposal, the rock was kept as intact as possible by embedding the church inside the rock and placing the parish facilities on the edges of the hillock. The church hall is covered with a seemingly floating dome, lined with copper and supported on the rugged rock walls by reinforced concrete beams. The row of windows surrounding the periphery of the dome shed light to the altar wall, where an ice-age crevice serves as the altarpiece.

In 2004, the Temppeliaukio Church was listed as a protected building. It is one of Helsinki’s most visited tourist attractions.

Location

Lutherinkatu 3, Helsinki
60.1729909, 24.9251729

Images

Timo Suomalainen, Tuomo Suomalainen, competition entry
Timo Suomalainen, Tuomo Suomalainen, competition entry "Kivikirkko", 1st prize. Scale model, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Havas / MFA)
Scale model, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
Scale model, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© MFA)
Timo Suomalainen, Tuomo Suomalainen, competition entry
Timo Suomalainen, Tuomo Suomalainen, competition entry "Kivikirkko", 1st prize. Scale model. Ground floor plan, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© MFA)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Visit Helsinki)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Meela Leino / MFA)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Meela Leino / MFA)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Meela Leino / MFA)

Additional media

Eero Eerikäinen, Jukka Salokari, competition entry
Eero Eerikäinen, Jukka Salokari, competition entry "Sanctitas", 2nd prize, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© MFA)
Ahti Korhonen, competition entry
Ahti Korhonen, competition entry "Seinät", 3rd prize, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© Havas / MFA)
Lauri Silvennoinen, Erkki Juutilainen, Yrjö Kilpeläinen, competition entry
Lauri Silvennoinen, Erkki Juutilainen, Yrjö Kilpeläinen, competition entry "En ole tullut palveltavaksi vaan palvelemaan", 2nd purchase, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© MFA)
Bertel Saarnio, Pekka Kuusisto, Juha Leiviskä, competition entry
Bertel Saarnio, Pekka Kuusisto, Juha Leiviskä, competition entry "Mons", 3rd purchase, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) (© MFA)