Athena, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences
Töölö Church by Hilding Ekelund is a prime example of 1920s Neoclassicism. With its open-faced bell tower, the church commands the eye-catching location perched high on rocky grounds in Topelius Park. Inspired by Ekelund’s trips in Italy, its traditionalist façade with a shade of burnt Sienna is at once delicate and monumental. The role of the church as the crowning landmark of the park’s central axis is eminent.
The restoration carried out by architects Käpy and Simo Paavilainen elegantly pays homage to the aesthetic aspirations and distinctive character of Nordic neoclassical architecture. All modifications are based on a broad body of in-depth research. New clubrooms and technical facilities were installed in the basement. The congregational meeting room was repainted its original shade of green. The new furniture chimes pleasantly with the detailing of the original interiors. Modern technical additions such as ventilation ducts, electrical wiring and security systems have been skilfully concealed.
The restoration of Töölö Church was selected in the Finnish Architecture Biennial Review 2018. Extract from the jury report:
“The work done on the church has been expertly executed. The clean-lined simplicity of neoclassicism provides a low-key foil for the reinstated bold original colour scheme. The architects have paid special attention to the surface textures and their degree of glossiness.”