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Passing through an exhibition of Finnish architecture at the Arkkitehtuurimuseo in Helsinki recently, struck by the design of this church located in a small Finnish town and designed by Aarno Ruusuvouri in 1961. This modernist structure possesses a Pyramid style exterior which is quite forbidding and even more so in its exterior where the ceiling seems to be bearing down, threatening the potential congregation.

The altar window to the far right of the lends it a slightly off kilter German expressionistic quality that lends it a slightly nightmarish quality that called to mind cinematically that is, the claustrophobic, oppressive set design of Ken Russell‘s The Devil’s (left) or an edifice as filtered through the mind of a Terry Gilliam, Stanley Kubrick and even German Expressionism ( The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Metropolis etc); institutions viewed with scepticism and ambivalence by sharp, agnostic creative minds.

Das Cabinet Der Dr Caligari (1920)

A  reflection of this religious mindset perhaps? Shaping, controlling the spiritual energy within it’s walls with the structures modernist angles suggesting a psychological schism just beneath the surface, a manifestation of fear that flows through its acute lines and gives the building a strange power.

Just a thought.

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