Pallivaha church and parish centre is based on the winning proposal of Pekka Pitkänen for an invited competition. It was built on the forest edge in a suburb of northern Turku. The façades of the building are dominated by brownish-black brick. The inner ceilings and walls are partly in bare concrete and the floors in polished concrete plate.

The cube-like church hall is in the western end of the building. The brick altar wall is illuminated above from a roof light facing east, invisible to the congregation. The concrete beams are covered by birch tree cassettes, which also soften the acoustics. On the east wall there is a concrete balcony, with a large window opening east, and a low window under the balcony. The textile altarpiece and altar cloth are by textile artist Irma Kukkasjärvi. The chairs are Artek furniture designed by Alvar Aalto. On the north side, there is a carefully designed sacristy and small ceremonies room, repeating the materials and themes of the church hall. The church bells are placed in the upper corner of the south wall of the church.

The entrance hall opens to the atrium yard, and a concrete wall frames the clothes racks. The wooden sculpture in the hall is by Mauno Haartman. The parish hall has a large window to the north. In the southern wing, there are club rooms, defined by concrete pillars and beams. The former janitor’s apartment at the eastern end has been used as clubrooms. The clubrooms on upper floors have tall windows, with upper parts in glass tiling.

The church has been unused for some years due to problems with old construction faults. The parish has applied to replace the building with two to three high-rises. Final decisions have not been made.

Text: Mikko Laaksonen

Location

Paltankatu 2, Turku
60.4827875, 22.274824

Images

Main entrance, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Main entrance, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© Mikko Laaksonen)
Sculpture by Mauno Haartman, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Sculpture by Mauno Haartman, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© Pekka Pitkänen)
Interior, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Interior, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© Mikko Laaksonen)
Interior, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Interior, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© Mikko Laaksonen)
Textile altarpiece by Irma Kukkasjärvi, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Textile altarpiece by Irma Kukkasjärvi, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© Pekka Pitkänen)
Floorplan, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre
Floorplan, Pallivaha Church and Parish Centre (© MFA)