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mars 2022

The renovation of the Suomenlinna Church copper roof

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Suomenlinna Church was built in 1854 and is a historically significant Finnish building. Suomenlinna is on the Unesco world heritage list as a unique memorial of military architecture. The master tower of the church is the only one left from the five original dome towers. The key point in renewing the copper roof of the master tower was that it should resemble the old one by colour as much as possible. Sauli Saarinen, the foreman of Suomen Saneeraustalo, Wilhelm Helander, a professor at Helander-Leiviskä Architects, and Jaakko Penttilä, a project architect, in cooperation with the Finnish Heritage Agency, selected the one that most closely resembles the old roof from Nordic Copper. “The architects had a big role in this, the result was excellent, it doesn’t look painted and specially treated, but it looks real old copper. Aurubis patinated the copper brilliantly”, says Saarinen.

“The view of Suomenlinna Church in the Helsinki skyline is significant, that’s why the patination of the master tower was so important”, says project-architect Jaakko Penttilä and highlights the cooperation with the National Board of Antiquities. The new copper roof does not just resemble the old one, but was actually made from recycling the original copper. So the spirit of the old copper roof continues into the future. Sauli Saarinen says that copper is excellent roof material: “It is very easy to handle, it is almost eternal and it won’t ever rust, the copper retains its value even as a scrap metal”. This is surely the reason why the success of patinated copper as a roof material increases all the time, “in the last three years it is almost the only material we have used”, says Sauli Saarinen.