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Avanto Architects won an open architectural competition for Chapel of St.Lawrence in 2003 and the building was consecrated in August 2010. The site is situated in an important and ancient historical setting in Vantaa. The chapel links disparate elements in the surroundings without appearing as a distinct building mass, leaving the old medieval stone church and bellcote to dominate the village milieu. The massing and materials are in response to existing surroundings, with use of rendered brickwork, natural stone, patinated copper sheet and mesh.
Giving peace and dignity to the funeral ceremony has been of primary importance in the planning of the building, and movement from one room to another is highlighted with a change of lighting and spatial characteristics. The theme of the proposal, ”polku” or ”path”, portrays man’s journey from mortality to eternity; courtyards function as passages to further ceremonial stages, a wall turns the onlookers gaze towards the light, a space gives reassurance to mourners. The path turns toward the unknown, but goes on.
Description from the architects