Temppeliaukio Church is a Lutheran church and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city; half a million people visit it annually. The stone-hewn church is located in the heart of Helsinki. Maintaining the original character of the square is the fundamental concept behind the building. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. It is also known as the Church of the Rock!
Plans for the Temppeliaukio (Temple square) was started as early as the 1930's when a plot of land was selected for the building and a competition for the design was started, which was won by Timo Suomalainen and Tuomo Suomalainen. For economic reasons, the suggested plan was scaled back and the interior space of the church was reduced to about one-quarter of the original plan. Construction finally began in February 1968, and the rock-temple was completed for consecration in September 1969.
The interior was excavated and built directly out of solid rock and is bathed in natural light which enters through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics. The acoustic quality is created by the rough, virtually unworked rock surfaces. The iconic rock walls were not included in the original competition entry, even though the Suomalainen brothers had considered the idea, but when conductor Paavo Berglund shared his knowledge of acoustics from some of the best music halls and the acoustical engineer Mauri Parjo gave requirements for the wall surfaces the Suomalainen brothers discovered that they could fulfill all the requirements for the acoustics by leaving the rock walls exposed in the Church Hall.
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