Upinniemi Sea Chapel

Project description

Upinniemi Sea Chapel is the only military church in operation in Finland. It is also the only military church built during Finland’s independence. According to legend, as the late architect Mikko Heliövaara arrived on his sailboatsail boat to the rocky shore, the waves blew against him with such force that the bow of the boat rose wildly. This created the architectural form of the chapel: a nave with a ceiling that rises high towards the heavens, while the walls narrow towards the altar. The sails inspired the shape of the belfry. The lighting solution matched the appearance of the chapel, but it had now come to its end in a technical sense.

Lighting is an integral part of architecture. When the lighting fixtures in Upinniemi Sea Chapel had reached the end of their life cycle and it became necessary to replace the lighting, it was clear to Techniplan Oy’s Designer Jorma Mansner that only custom-made luminaries would be used. The goal was to design, manufacture and install new luminaries to replace the old ones without making any changes to the ceiling structure. The location in the Finnish Defence Forces area, the towering ceiling structure of the site as well as the massive size and peculiar shape of the luminaries posed their own challenges during the project. One of the lamps is in the shape of a parallelogram and the other is triangular, following the architectural line of the nave. Mansner knew that Sg Armaturen specialises in these kinds of projects, so he turned to Jari Reinikka.

In historically and architecturally valuable sites such as Upinniemi Sea Chapel, it is extremely important to ensure that the solution suits the location without any surprises. This often includes light-technical issues, which have changed over time. The old luminaries consumed significantly more energy than these current ones.

Lighting solution

The electrical contractor at the site was Jorvaksen Sähkö Oy. SG Armaturen’s customisation team in Denmark accepted the challenge and got to work. We received a sketch from our customisation team and reviewed it together with the designer and contractor, who gave the project the green light. The functionality of the solution was verified on site with the help of a model. After that, the customer was able to place the final order.

Thanks to seamless cooperation, the luminaries have now been installed and the project was completed on time, and all parties are satisfied with the end result. Military Chaplain Kivijärvi shows how the lighting brings out the wonderful red brick and wooden structures. The luminosity is simply bewildering, he marvels.

Upinniemi Sea Chapel
Upinniemen merikappeli
Upinniemen Rantatie 220
02470 Upinniemi

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