In the middle of Helsinki’s hectic Narrinkkatori Square is an ultra modern chapel that creates a little slice of heavenly silence in the middle of a sea of outside noise.
Also known as the “Chapel of Silence,” this weird-looking round structure is hard to recognize as a chapel, and in fact no holy events like baptisms or wedding ceremonies are held there (although there are prayer meetings). No, this bizarre little space is singularly devoted to providing some peace and quiet. The entire space is designed to be calming, from the round walls to the spacious, high ceiling, it’s almost so comforting as to be womblike. The interior design is kept spare with the natural warmth of the smooth wooden walls left clean and unadorned. The only objects in the space are the futuristic altar, a simple candelabra, and the rows of basic, blocky pews.
As weird as the silent room may appear, it’s innovative design won a number of awards, making a lot of noise for something so concerned with being quiet.
The space has been a hit since it first opened in 2012, and it is estimated that some 250,000 people had visited the space in less than a year. Just a year after that, the number had doubled to around 500,000 That’s a lot of quiet time, especially in an alien egg.