The Parainen Funerary Chapel combines features of both functionalism and classicism. The simple shape of the chapel with its low-pitched roof resembles a classical temple and the ceiling, made up of exposed wooden beams, also has classicist features.
The chapel is located along the churchyard wall, creating a solemn passage to bring the deceased down to the mortuary and from there up to the catafalque in the chapel and finally to the consecrated ground. Next to the altar there is a tall south-facing window from where light falls onto the altar wall. This lighting motif resembles the situation in Sigurd Lewerentz’s Resurrection Chapel (1925) in the Skogskyrkogården cemetery in Stockholm and was often employed by Bryggman in his funerary chapel designs. The organ gallery, which is accessed via a spiral staircase, is lit by a circular window.
The lamps in the chapel, seven-reflector P.H. crowns of ”rawglass”, are the most strikingly modernist feature.
The chapel is built from cement bricks on a concrete foundation, rendered both on the outside and the inside and painted with limewash. The square-patterned floor is made of 60 x 60 cm steel-brushed cement flagstones produced by Turun Asfalttitehdas Oy. The portal reveals are of marble and the copper-covered doors were provided by W. Ahlfors.
Parainen Funerary Chapel is listed on the DOCOMOMO Finland registered selection of important architectural and environmental modernist sites.
Text: Mikko Laaksonen