Parainen Funerary Chapel

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Photo: MFA
  • PlaceParainen
  • Completion 1930
  • Decade1930s
  • PeriodConstructing the identity of a newly independent nation
  • Year of selection1993


The Parainen funerary chapel is minimalist and simple, somewhat like a small Greek temple. It was Erik Bryggman’s first realised sacral building, and similarly to his Hospits Betel hostel in Turku represents the stylistic transition between Classicism and Functionalism. Like many other architects of that time, Bryggman’s key source of inspiration was Italy, and various influences from there found their way into the design of the Parainen funerary chapel. Bryggman’s other role models were his Swedish colleagues Lewerentz, Asplund and Markelius. In their architecture – just as in Bryggman’s – a similar development took place when the Classicism became increasingly simplified, gradually becoming Functionalism. The Parainen funerary chapel has many of the same themes as Lewerentz’s Resurrection chapel (1925) at the Skogskyrkogården cemetery in Stockholm.

The Parainen funerary chapel, just like other Bryggman sacral designs from the end of the 1920s and early 1930s, comprises a tall, narrow-framed and elongated main mass. The minimalist chapel has a simple rectangular plan and gently sloping pitched roof, but a particularly notable highlight is the single tall window divided in smaller panes, through which light falls on to the catafalque and choir. Below the window is a marble-framed portal with a copper door. Joined to the chapel is a low wing. The mortuary is located on the lowest level.

The main entrance has a beautiful glass door subdivided into panes. The whitewashed interior has an Italianate ceiling of exposed wooden beams. Next to the main entrance is a sculptural stair leading up to the organ balcony. Bryggman designed new pews for the chapel in 1947 and the inscription above the altar was added in 1954.


Helena Soiri-Snellman

Bryggman, Erik (1929). ”Paraisten hautauskappeli”.  Arkkitehti 1/1929.
Nikula, Riitta et al. (toim./ed.). Erik Bryggman 1891–1955: Arkkitehti Arkitekt Architect. Helsinki: Suomen rakennustaide museo.


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