Architecture studio NOAN has designed a chapel within a forest overlooking a lake at the Tervajärvi campground in southern Finland.
The Forest Chapel (Metsäkappeli) is a new addition to the Tervajärvi campground owned by the parish of Lempäälä. The chapel will mainly serve as the camp church for confirmation camps and as a venue for small weddings or christenings.
As the assembly of the chapel was carried out by volunteers, professionals were entrusted with the more demanding individual phases.The architecture of the chapel is an interpretation of the evolving role of sacral spaces. Instead of institutional built symbols and their associated traditions, future church buildings could be seen as being smaller sacral spaces that emphasize joy and communality, yet also afford consolation.
The single most important component of the forest chapel is the glulam timber roof truss. The design was based on a visually appealing structure inspired by nature, a nearby lake, and ecclesiastical rituals. Besides being visually striking, the glulam beam structure should play the focal structural role.
The chapel’s movable larch furniture, including the brass components, was custom designed for the building and made to order by local carpenter. The joints and other details of the furniture were developed in collaboration with the carpenter.