When it comes to silence and mindfulness, Finland always comes first. The unspoilt Finnish archipelago is therefore the perfect place for a trip with the fully electric Jaguar I-PACE—the most silent Jaguar of all time. Almost silently author Nathaniel Handy and photographer Alexander Rhind drive into the centre of Helsinki, only the tires of the performance SUV crunching in the white snow.
It may seem absurd at first to look for a quiet place on the market square, the busiest square in the Finnish capital. However, the city council chose this spot to build an impressive new chapel: the Kamppi Chapel of Silence. The project was initiated by the former vice-mayor of Helsinki, Pekka Korpinen, who wanted to give the people a place to stay and rest. "We studied the flow of people in this part of the city," says Mikko Summanen of K2S Architects from Helsinki, who designed the chapel together with colleagues Kimmo Lintula and Niko Sirola. "Once you are in the chapel, you no longer hear the noise of the city. Even the natural light is indirect," Mikko explains.
Our next destination is Haltia, Finland's nature centre in Nuuksio National Park, a new type of visitor centre that brings together all of Finland's nature and all 40 national parks under one roof. Haltia also combines solar and geothermal energy systems to achieve a largely self-sufficient energy supply. In summer, the heat from the solar collectors is pumped into the rock and displaces the cold air there, which rises to cool the building. And in winter, the heat stored there in turn ensures that the building is heated. "Haltia is like a perfect natural battery," says Tom Selanniemi, the center's director.
The return to nature—especially the peace and quiet in rural areas—are topics that we encounter again and again when talking to locals. Almost every Finn has access to a cottage in the country, which is usually located near a lake. It is simply an integral part of Finnish life. Robert Nuorteva confirms this when we meet him in a cosy café in Helsinki. He is the founder of the startup Everfells, which connects nature guides with people who are looking for an adventure in the wilderness. "Every Finn knows the feeling of driving out of town to the cabin, getting out of the car and being caught up in the silence," he describes.
The result: a story about how silence and serenity are integral parts of Finnish culture, published on the Jaguar Owners Club website.