Alterations to Korpilahti Church (1926-1927, 2018)

Kirkonmäentie 1-3
41800 Korpilahti

Paikallinen sää

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Alterations to Korpilahti Church (1926-1927, 2018)

Korpilahti Church dates back to 1827. Its original design was created by A.W. Arppe under the tutelage of Italian architect Carlo Bassi. As the building’s centenary approached, up-and-coming young architect Alvar Aalto was invited to draw up plans to restore this timber-structured round church.

His plans included alterations designed to provide access to the central lantern, the addition of eight small windows in the dome and the refurbishment of the pulpit, altar and choir. The colour scheme in the nave was also updated to reflect the simplicity and restraint characteristic of Finnish Neoclassicism. In addition to a range of natural hues, Aalto also opted for Pompeii red, blue, grey, black and gold. The church textiles and lighting, including candelabras and sconces, were also replaced and updated at this point.

We know that, as the design process progressed, Alvar Aalto’s ideas became increasingly pared down. In the course of the 1920s, he was asked to lend his vision to the restoration of a number of other churches in central Finland. While the Korpilahti Church project was still ongoing, Aalto turned his attention to the nearby Muurame Church. Its elegant Italianate style reflects a marked stylistic departure from Neoclassicism towards a more modern form of expression.

The refurbishment of Korpilahti Church, as led by Alvar Aalto, was completed between 1926 and 1927, and the final result was ultimately more modest than what had initially been envisaged. Come unto me, all ye, the altarpiece by Wilho Sjöström, dates back to 1904.

Having been refurbished on several occasions in the intervening years, the church underwent its most recent renovation in 2017 ̶ 2018. The project represented an opportunity to reinstate the interior colour scheme originally designed by Alvar Aalto.  The restoration work was overseen by Ark-Kantonen.

Opening hours:

Visit the Korpilahti church by calling tel. +358 50 557 9008 and booking a visit with a church employee.

Designed/built in year

1926-1927, 2018

Designed by

Alvar Aalto

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