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An architecture masterpiece in Helsinki Central – “Kampi Chapel of silence”

An architecture masterpiece in Helsinki Central - "Kampi Chapel of silence"

Earlier this year, when I was doing a small trip around Scandinavia, my last stop was Helsinki. Without any travel maps or pre-set idea to venture places and with spontaneous mind-set, I took a train directly to Helsinki central. As I was finding my way to the entrance of the Kampi shopping center, I stumbled upon of what I would refer to as “the spectacular yet simple architectural masterpiece” within the most unexpected busiest part of Helsinki. A ‘Chapel” whose sole purpose is to relax and calm yourself and have the perfect moment of silence!

Situated on the Narinkka Square in central Helsinki, the oval shape building has a unique yet challenging design with respect to the entire planned urban space all around. Surrounded by upscale shopping centers, restaurants/ cafes, hotels and office buildings with known architectural design configuration, this building stands out as an exemplary mark on central urban fabric of the city!

Kampii Chapel, Helsinki
Kampii Chapel, Helsinki
Kampii Chapel, Helsinki
Kampii Chapel, Helsinki

The curved wooden facades with its oval shapes encompasses and flows as if it on one side it emerges out to be in cylindrical form while on the other perspective its seems to expands horizontally.

Kampii Chapel Facade
Kampii Chapel Facade
Kampii Chapel Facade
Kampii Chapel Facade

Every wooden curve is beautifully crafted in a way that it gives the concept of how a building flows into the city. Not only the design itself, but to convince to build such a religious building in downtown Helsinki is something to be admired and all the credit goes to their architects K2S Architects Ltd.”

Kampii Chapel Plan View
Kampii Chapel Plan View

The concept behind the shape was basically crafted by considering the existing point of urban condition prevalent in the Helsinki downtown and with swirling circulation of people and surrounding spaces as well the neighboring city views, the shape of the building perfectly blends itself within the vicinity of the premises.

The chapel internal design is however completely different from the outside world occurring around this building. Not only you feel disconnected with its amazing acoustic configuration in the utmost silence but the concept of visual silence and appeal also plays a very important role in its design. The idea to escape from the super-hectic life of the city and to sit and relax for couple of minutes or more inside a very peaceful space is like a perfect meditation in-itself and I was lucky to have this beautiful unexpected experience.

Helsinki Chapel of silence interier view
Helsinki Chapel of silence interier view
Helsinki Chapel of silence interier view
Helsinki Chapel of silence interier view

The roof of the chapel is in form of convex shape with peripheral window which goes around the chapel walls. The reflection of lights in my observation must varies along different times. However, interesting thing to actually notice is that there isn’t any direct light provided inside the building. All which you see is in the reflection of internal facades and ceiling.

Helsinki Chapel of silence
Helsinki Chapel of silence Roof view from inside

One of the interesting features I have read about this design of this building was that its final finishing actually uses “Nano technology” where the varnish particles penetrates the wooden cells structure much deeper. The wood texture however is selected locally where the external facade is made up of Finnish spruce wood and the inner wood used is of British trees wood knows as “Alder” which is very lighter in tone compared to the outside facade and looks really appealing to eyes in that perfect peaceful environment.

I believe the main idea of architecture is all about innovation, to try something new which is unique but also blends out with its surrounding built-environment. I have seen many amazing architecture designs in my past years of traveling around the world but to feel connected with something which touches your heart is I believe one on the finest examples of architecture visualization which has come to existence!

Have you ever had any similar experience where you were emotionally connected and mesmerized by the architectural beauty of the building? Feel free to share anything about it! 🙂

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Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

If you have been following the chronicles of my travel diary series , I would like to share my experience where I had spend two days exploring the astounding Gothenburg city on my own.

Set in the Swedish west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden. Most people would dream to visit Stockholm as their first preference when traveling to Sweden, but in order to seek something unconventional, I determined to hit Gothenburg this time and to my gratification it was no doubt a gorgeous experience. 

Scenic aerial view of the Old Town with Oscar Fredrik Church in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Scenic aerial view of the Old Town in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.

Sustaining its roots into Noe-classical architecture, beautifully designed around picturesque canals, the moment I stepped down, I was already fallen in love with the city. It was the month of March, still in the span of frigid winters, I was all set and ready to unravel this ultimate trip. My flight landed on Göteborg Landvetter Airport, I approached further to find my way towards my accommodation into this shivery night. There were two things I had kept notes for in order to make use of trouble-free transportation.

  1. Purchase a return ticket for “Flygbussarna” bus which connects promptly to city from Airport. I directly went to Information center to get the ticket which included my valid return journey as well.
  2. Day tickets which in my case I had purchased 3-day ticket. It includes unlimited travel on buses, trams, ferries and trains. I purchased it directly from the “Pressbyran” (convenience store) which you can easily locate at the airport.

The ride on the airport bus was calm and comfortable. Since  I had reserve an Airbnb accommodation, I had to change and catch tram after two stops at “Goteborg Korsvagen”. Infused with peculiar excitement in my heart, the first glimpse of the city was itself magical. Standing next to my tram stop among the group of people, the cold breeze rushing into my face, enwreathe by glittering mix of modern cum classical architecture, it was something pristine to experience. The tram finally took me to my accommodation which was a small walk from the nearby stop.

My Airbnb home, where I was sharing a studio room, was located in a serene and tranquil neighborhood of ‘Skår’ surrounded by some beautiful and delightful private cottage houses. Residing in such a place like dream in-itself.

Skår District
Skår District
Skår District
Skår District

Drizzle of breezing rain rushing across as I walk along these streets next morning to my way towards the tram stop, fancying in that moment, how a life in real would actually felt to live here. Since my childhood I was always fascinated towards the architecture and nature of the Scandinavian life, the essence of which is enriching yet calm in its own way.  As I walk further, I was thrilled with exquisite nature reserved within the vicinity of the neighborhood that I even decided take a small walk amidst them before finally making it to my tram stop.

A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”

After boarding the tram, my next stop was “Brunnsparken” which is considered to be the prominent central square in Gothenburg. It also acts like a central junction where all the tram stops merges together and therefore also recognize as a famous meeting point for people.

I decided to take a quick nimble around the central square. The sight somehow reminded of places like Amsterdam and Germany. The elegant architecture all around, filled with the blend of alluring art and history, with lovely fountains and chirping sounds of birds, bold statues boasting Swedish history and cris-crossed by tram lines on the other side, a graceful canal with clean and clear water flowing away, apprached by steps in the front,  where I sat down to enjoy this spectacular view.

Brunnsparken
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg

The plan afterwards was to head towards the famous Archipelago Islands, It was a direct ride from this central square only and it directly takes you to the ferry terminal. The short trip to the archipelagos was breathtaking. To know more about my short trip experience of Gothenburg Southern Archipelago islands, click here to check it out.

 On return, I reached back at the same place of “Brunnsparken” and It was already evening by then. My body was feeling a bit tired, freezing in the chilly winter, my heart was still striking the beats of excitement, I began to explore further this amazing city by night.

Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden

I kept walking and exploring the silent peaceful night, charting my ways amidst the calm and soothing nature and beautiful surroundings.

A night time view of Gothenburg
A night time view of Gothenburg
Gothenburg Haga at night
Gothenburg Haga at night

It was finally time to catch some dinner as I was feeling hungry and a bit physically exhausted by then, so I strolled all the way to the famous ‘Haga’ area where I discovered a delightful vegan restaurant known as ‘ Solrosen’.  Haga is one of happening district of Gothenburg, which is particularly known for its magnificent wooden houses, and where also you could unearth some offbeat restaurants serving delicious food. The best things I loved about this restaurant was their free/buffet salad bar where you can have all types of various salads to satisfy your hunger pans.

Solrosen gothenburg
Solrosen, gothenburg

After enjoying my gracious food, it was time to head back to my apartment. My first day exploring this charming city had been just amazing and incredible. On the way back, I was already thinking about how I was planning to spend the second day of my trip, to visit the beautiful botanical gardens, to explore those pleasant central parks of ‘Slottsskogen” filled with auspicious greenery and peaceful nature, to discover the famous ‘Haga” district and its spectacular architecture, and much more where my heart could follow and explore its own way.

Traveling for me is not only venture to new places but to explore and connect with the surroundings. To observe the nurturing the new life, the way the people live and more importantly the nature, the very source which has given the definition to our lives.

If you would like to know more about my journeys around the world, feel free to subcrise and follow and look out for my new upcoming post! And if you have comments, questions and any experience of your own travel you would like to share, feel free to send below. I would love to read them! 🙂

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Gothenburg’s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

Gothenburg’s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

The Archipelago Islands are spread along the coast of Gothenburg, Sweden and easily accessible by Ferry. I was doing my small Scandinavian trip in March 2017 where I stayed in Gothenburg for few days and decided to visit the archipelago. Although there were many small islands within the archipelago, due to rains and little bad weather, I only had time to visit one Island, so I decided to take the ferry to the farthest once known as “Vrångö”. 

March is usually considered as winter months, it is windy and cold, so it not exactly the right season to visit these islands. But for travelers like us, when it comes to travel and exploring, seasons doesn’t matter and on the plus side since there aren’t much crowds, you get to explore the places by yourself which is more fun and peaceful!

Gothenburg Archipelago Map
Gothenburg Archipelago Map

After reaching Gothenburg, my first stop was  Archipelago only.  Gothenburg has either 1 or 3 day transportation day tickets. Ferries are included in the both tickets. So I bought a 3 day ticket and took a tram 11 from center towards “Goteborg Saltholmens Brygga” ferry terminal. All the ferries for Archipelago Islands starts from here. They have small information/ticket kiosk where you can also get free maps and guidance on the ferry times and they also explains you the preferred number of islands you can cover in the remaining time of the day. I waited for my ferry for almost half an hour to 45mins and finally boarded to head towards the last Island “Vrångö”. The time from the main terminal to the farthest island takes about an hour approx and you get to see the view of the other islands on the way.

View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg
View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg

Have you even been in a ferry marching towards the sea when its actually cloudy? and the more closer you go into the sea, the more you feel excited and scary at the same time. On my way to Vrango, every time I look outside, in the those moments of nature, I was filled with the feeling of excitement and adventure at the same time. As I sat closer to the window and saw the ferry gushing through the water, tiny small chunks of land untouched in the lap of nature in the middle of the sea, far somewhere few pitched houses resting on ground, and on the other side, the never ending extent of the ocean, as I moved forward , my eyes captured all these beautiful moments I haven’t seen before in my life.

My ferry finally reached the Vrango terminal. It was raining and there were only few people along with me to step on the Island. I quickly saw a coffee shop next to it, so I directly went there as I was really craving for hot cup of coffee! I ordered a coffee with a small piece of cake, sat down close to window, outside it was still raining and inside the coffee shop, there were only 2 people who might have to come to visit but seems to be afraid to go out because of the rain.

While looking at the window and having the hot sip of the my coffee, watching the rain getting strong every second, there was bit of silence in that moment and I thought am I really scared? I don’t have an umbrella, just a jacket with a hood, my passport in the pocket (unwrapped) and vulnerable to rains, I dont know the way inside and there is not a single person present on this small island I can see, maybe I will get lost, maybe by the time I come back I wont be able to catch ferry, maybe….!? But then I thought, all my life I have been always scared to take chances and the only time I have felt happy when I actually took them. So, I finished my coffee, wore my jacket, put on the hood and went into the island to find the last spot where it ends!

But wait……Lets take a look what I saw on the way 🙂

Cottage houses built on the Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

I walked by some beautiful houses on the way, it was as if walking into a canvas drawn in front of me and only me as there was not a single person I could find, It was still raining, the intensity was increasing every second I went further, but my heart was pumping with loads of excitement  and all it desired to see more and more of what was coming!

After exploring, getting lost and coming back and forth, I finally managed to find a spot on the farthest point which was built on top of rocks. Although because of rains it was all wet, still I carefully find a way to climb the rocks (even slip for few times :D) but eventually after a bit of struggle I managed to climb on the other side and what I saw then was just magical! At that very moment, I forgot the rains, opened my arms wide spread and just enjoyed the view! I was just connected in that beautiful moment of nature and nothing else mattered to me at that time!

View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrångö Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

It is breathtaking isn’t it? well after spending a good time in the rains, I was already sneezing by then. As I turned around I had literally no idea how to reach back again on the other side. At least 4 times I climbed and came back to same spot and by then I was slightly getting worried a bit. But the good part was, I was still enjoying the views!.. I  found a small route between rocks but further again lost my way couple of times and somehow made it back to Vrango ferry terminal.

I again went into the same coffee shop, there was no one there by then. I ask the swedish lady if I can dry my clothes somewhere there and she was nice to help me out. Well there was no one else to help out otherwise. I asked her out of curiosity if anyone lives here now in this season and she told me she still lives on the same Island and I was happy to finally find a local person to ask questions! 😀

I sat down again on the same window side with a hot cup of coffee, trying to relieve my new cold I have recently catch upon, looking at window, watching rains, feeling proud to live the moment which I will always remember in my lifetime! 🙂

Have you been to Gothenberg archipelago before? or what was your last daring cum magical experience? Feel free to share in the comments below as I would love to read them! 🙂

“Live for the magical unforgettable experiences, they are the only ones which will be there with you in your last moments of life”

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