The Chapel of St. Lawrence in Vantaa, Finland, was now awarded the European Copper in Architecture Award. About 700 m2 of GKD bronze mesh of the type Baltic provide the object with a distinctive look. The award acknowledges outstanding copper projects in contemporary European architecture. Out of the 66 entries, the cemetery chapel of St. Lawrence, designed by Avanto Arkkitehdit, emerged as the winner.
The jury was impressed with the architect’s choice of material and how it was used to evoke a solemn yet comforting atmosphere for this site of grief. The building’s concept realises the traditional, religious motive of a “path” as journey from mortality to eternity. This is implemented by leading mourners from the reception area to an intimate area to view the open coffin and in the chapel. As a place of retreat, gardens complete the concept of the building.
Contrasting with the plain, white masonry walls, Avanto Arkkitehdit chose bronze mesh by GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG to finish ceilings, walls and the glazed façade. In an elaborate process, the artist Pertti Kukkonen patinated the mesh in order to achieve the green colour. The resemblance to a historic copper façade takes up one of the major design elements of the neighbouring, medieval church. Semi-transparent mesh panels by GKD on both sides of the glazed façade function as sun protection and therefore create a pleasant indoor climate. Each of these panels is up to 2 metres wide and 6 metres long. Due to the hardly visible substructure and the textile structure of the mesh the purist character of the building is thus emphasized.
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