''Cinis'' is a design for a silent retreat, an option for a religious and sacral space for all the citizens, religious of not. Situated in the very hearth of Paris, near by the Nôtre Dame Cathedral and la Bastille, it is open around the clock for all citizens.
Jaakko Heikinheimo, Ark SAFA
Producer: Tuomas Autio, The Finnish Cultural Institute in France
Client: Pavillon de l'Arsenal (Paris's Museum of Architecture and Urbanism)
Year: 2015-2017
Photos of scale model: Koski Syväri Ltd
Briefly about the building Definition of Cinis : Ash in latin
Cinis is a public, non-religious sacral space. In a way, the secular, state of France seems a reasonable place for a build- ing of this kind. It is a mixture of old Scandinavian wood church traditions and other religious buildings. We tend to create the connection with something that we call the ‘’higher power’’. In this approach, there is no hierarchy towards the unseen. That explains the symmetrical composition of the floor plan with its entrances on both sides. Therefore it is a place to respect each other, without any given order based on hierarchy. It is then a very democratic and somehow mod- ernistic answer to the challenges of the sacral architecture. Cinis as a building, can be moved to anywhere as it is built from elements, respecting then also the traditions of the movable timber-buildings which comlines with the trend of mobilety.
The dark space
‘’All human relations untouched by love take place in the dark’’
-Richard Rorty

Practical approach to the urban challenges
Cinis provides a certain amount of shelter for anyone. It’s an open space, which does not recuire any personal to be used. It’s facades are mainly translucents. Anyone can then guess from a distance if there is someone inside it. To avoid the undesirable use of it during the night time, it lives the pos- siblilty of being illuminated for the outside with spotlights on the ground. Its purpose is not to be a house for homeless people. That’s one reason why the design of it is not suitable for settling down.
The 4th arrondissement, in the hearth of Paris, is known for many remarkable buildings from differents eras. In this area there are for example the town hall and the modern Pom- pidou Center, as well as the mediaval district of le Marais, known as the gay and the Jewish district of Paris. It is also known for its cosy cafés and narrow streets and an overall multicultural exposure.
The site Cinis is located in this 4th arrondissement. The fa- mous Place de la Bastille is just nearby and the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame is only 10 minutes away.
In the hearth of the 4th , stands a pocket-type of a square, Place du Père Teilhard de Chardin. It is own by the private library, bibliothèque de l’Arsenal. Together with the local architecture museum, Pavilion de l’Arsenal, and a residential building, they frame the site. It is surrounded by a couple of quiet streets and ends to the boulevard Henri IV, which goes straight to the hearth of Bastille. There is also the entering to the metro station Fully-Morland.
The site
As mentioned before, Cinis is not a custom-designed to any place. It transfers the long tradition of mobile buildings and chapels and it is an offgrid-type of thinking.
It is obvious that it suits not to be placed wherever.
Although the place is surrounded by different kinds of ar- chitecture from different eras and various streets, the place itself is surprisingly quiet. It is filled with a couple of trees and a flat surface of fine gravel. The site has been used as the platform of various pavilions and events by the local archi- tecture museum, Pavilion de l’Arsenal. Even though the site is owned by a private institution, it is kept open to the public. Anyone, in any time of the year is welcome to enjoy this public place.
Cinis is done with 99% of reneawable natural resources. It’s point-like foundation-piles leave almost the entire flat untouched. As it is done with a modular structure, it can be easily reused in other places over and over again
Cinis, view from Boulevard Henri IV
Cinis, view from the Library
Cinis, view from Inside