Tag Archives: Finland

Open House Helsinki 2014

open house helsinki, event, Finland

Source: openhousehelsinki.fi

Today was the first day of Open House Helsinki, event where you get to visit buildings and locations you normally wouldn’t have access to. How exciting! Open House Helsinki is actually part of Open House Worldwide, a non-profit organization whose primary aim is to be an architectural education event.

So let’s have a look at the program in Helsinki?

UK-embassy. Image by Reetta Purontakanen

Friday looked pretty good. Access to the parliament library, the clock tower of Helsinki Railway Station, UK embassy, The House of The Senate... to name a few. I decided on the tour in Puu-Käpylä. Naturally missed the start and ended up touring the place by myself. I actually ran into the tour group but at that point I had seen enough, so I listened for a while and then went my way. In summa summarum, excellent selection.

I got home from my exhaustingly architectural day in Helsinki and decided to look what was on offer tomorrow.  And let me tell you, this is were things got ugly and that’s why I’m writing this post which is about to become a rant…

Open House Worldwide-participants are required to adhere to following rules:

1. The Open House event should maintain the core values of the Open House concept: to foster appreciation, understanding and learning amongst your own communities along with the value of architectural excellence and showcasing outstanding design, including quality contemporary design.

2. Free entry to all buildings taking part in the Open House event is mandatory, and no mandatory charge to be made to building owners to participate.

3. A not-for-profit organisation or charity should organise/host the Open House event in each city, whilst also being independent from party political ties. The organisation will further need to be part of or involved within architecture or the built environment sector.

4. The primary aim of Open House is an architectural education event.

Now, Open House Helsinki is sponsored by SKANSKA. A commercial building company. Known for its poor quality and strong liaisons with local municipalitie’s planning departments. Let’s see what kind of locations we have on offer on Saturday

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Good but you can only join if you were one of the peeps who participated in the raffle for the tickets.

Tove Jansson‘s Helsinki. Fantastic! The creator of Moomins lived all her life in the Helsinki city center or its proximity and this tour takes you through her hoods. But since the tour is also in the guide, and you can do it by yourself, it doesn’t really adhere to the “not getting access to normally” promise.

The tower of Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral, Finlandia Hall and Helsinki Hall of Culture. First one required to win in a raffle to get in. Understandable. The latter two only accepts 25 and 30 peeps respectively in but hey, those 55 people get to see some rooms that normally aren’t open for public! And yes, they used exclamation marks to make this point. I’m going to assume that most of the rooms ARE open for public any other day too.

Can you see the sarcasm creeping in? Well, it’s about to get better. Let’s see rest of Saturday’s offerings. Remember, this event is about architectural education and “fostering appreciation, understanding and learning amongst your own communities along with the value of architectural excellence and showcasing outstanding design, including quality contemporary design.”

Kivistö-neighbourhood. A building site that’s going to be finished in 2015 for the annual home & architecture-fair. The interesting pitch for this place include “train station will be ready in 2015″ and of course the compulsory mention of the said fair.

Kivistö-train station. A building site. Yes, the same train station that was mentioned in the previous listing. Finished in 2015.

Kivistö Quartz Route. A building site. A pedestrian and bike road to connect Kivistö to whatever. I’m going to presume it’s going to be ready in 2015. But wait, there IS something ready. Some kind of artwork by Leonhard Lapin. Will be revealed officially tomorrow.

Kivistö Sonata. Almost not a building site. Apparently the first building in Kivistö-block to reach full height! There also “will be 9 buildings in total including on care home!” Lots of words about how there will be this and that kind of building materials used. Rest of the buildings in the block will be ready in 2015.

Kivistö Concrete Art walking tour. A building site. “The art theme realized in Kivistö, will in future be seen from Kivistö train station”. Probably ready in 2015. The tour ends with a visit to this artistic gem:

Image via liikennevirasto.fi

Kivistö City Center Tour. A building site. If you missed it, there will be an architecture fair in Kivistö in 2015. Which means this city center will be finished 2015. Or that’s what the boys of SKANSKA say on their website.

You know what this reminds me of? The Asterix comic “The Mansions of the Gods“, that’s what. Those who have read it knows the one spread with an image of the sales pitch tablet, which is made to advertise the mansions nearby Asterix’s village to attract wealthy Romans and where next to every advertised amenity are the words “in planning”.

This is exactly the same! Well not exactly. Kivistö totally has finished buildings! My mistake!

But no worries. There are still TWO sites for tomorrow that AREN’T KIVISTÖ! Shocking. I know. Let’s see if they are any better…

HEKA-building in Jätkäsaari. Finished building. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? The sad part is that it’s apparently ONLY finished building there because…

Tour of Jätkäsaari. A building site. “Jätkäsaari will have housing for 18 000 and work for 6000 people. There will be affordable housing as well as private ownership and every other ownership model in between”. Awful lot of “will bees” if you know what I’m sayin’? But not to worry, the main contractor for Jätkäsaari is SKANSKA.

So I’m going to leave you to ponder following things…Is Open House Helsinki honouring the spirit of Open House? Are these locations rare architectural gems?  Is Saturday’s program nothing but poorly disguised marketing campaign for SKANSKA? Strategically on a weekday when the potential buyers are off work?

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. The Sunday’s program is HERE. Only 4 locations. I guess SKANSKA ran out of steam.

P.P.S. Thinking about re-locating to Finland? How about Kivistö?

 

 

 

Trés Cool Finnish Blog: Stadin Style

By stadinstyle.helsinkids.fi

By stadinstyle.helsinkids.fi

Last night I was browsing one sewing related group on Facebook and happened upon a post, where someone was asking to vote their blog at Elle Finland Style Awards. Even though my stylist friend have been going on and on and on about what he is going to wear this year, somehow I managed to miss that yes, there are actual awards given.

Anyhoo, the blogger said that she is a nominee to be the Style Guru 2014 and made her case saying that she has made most of the clothes on her blog herself. Wow! Really? I had to go and have a look.

stadin style, fashion, sewing,

By stadinstyle. helsinkids.fi

Amaia is originally from Spain and is a fashion designer by profession. And I can see it. The clothes are very cool and current. LIKE HEIDI WOULD SAY ON PROJECT RUNWAY! I love Amaia’s taste and style, which is individual and commercial at the same time.

By stadinstyle.helsinkids.fi

By stadinstyle.helsinkids.fi

Girl can rock the crop top. I bought one this spring to wear with a pleated skirt but I chickened out from wearing either of them. Amaia’s outfit’s pink colour is bang on trend with the matching top and skirt. But this is not my über favourite, it’s this one:

stadin style, fashion, sewing

By stadinstyle.helsinkids.fi

The dress! The styling! This look means business. I have always loved Hermès’ orange and plaster colour combo because the luxury it implies. Both colours are such that average person couldn’t wear them everyday and hence telling others that you live a life of luxury. Amaia’s dress is all about this kind of confidence. Confidence helps you to pull things off.

You can find Amaia’s blog Stadin Style, which she writes in Finnish and in Spanish, HERE. Then if you want to vote her at the Elle Finland Style Awards, Amaia has written multilingual instructions to how-to-vote HERE. If you click the images you will get to the original blog posts. This blog is worth to follow, even if you don’t read Finnish or Spanish. The pictures provide plenty of inspiration. She also posts about her travels and includes a lot of beautiful pictures for you Finnophiles out there.

-Thrifty Finn-

 

Art Idol: Tea Tauriainen

Tea Tauriainen, Finnish illustrator, comics, art

Art by Tea Tauriainen at taloussanomat.fi

Today, a Finnish online economics and business related magazine, taloussanomat.fi, published a story about the future prospects of academics and other educated people in Finland. Naturally, I tweeted the best parts of the comment section (which I do often) but I think the best offering of the story was this illustration by Tea Tauriainen. I commented on this too and then a journalist at Taloussanomat, @petrikorhonen let me know that she has a blog called Mad Tea Party. And let ME tell you, it’s GOOOD! How? She makes comics!

First a little background…Tea was born 1988 and has a degree in media and graphic design. She’s originally from up north, Kuusamo (it’s not in Lapland which would give her bonus points but she’s from close enough) and lives now in Helsinki, working as a freelance illustrator for Taloussanomat.  She started doing the comic blog already in 2007 and basically makes them about her own life. This is why I like her. She writes about what it’s like to be a woman, a weirdo and a geek. Here are some of my faves. The comics are in Finnish but she gives English translations at the end of each comic.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, comics,

This is a variation of the many conversations I’ve had with my stylist friend about my home style. I like cozy and cute, he likes cold minimalism. He keeps warning me that this will happen.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, comics, Finland

Few months ago I downloaded the app Duolingo to spruce up my French. Those who have it know, that you sometimes have to repeat sentences on your phone’s microphone and then the app let’s you know if you pronounced correctly. Let’s just say sometimes it takes some effort.

Tea Tauriainen, Mad Tea Party, singlehood, comics, Finland

“Don’t do that”. I just died.

Her comic blog is HERE and her portfolio can be found HERE. There’s a comic book festival in Helsinki in the beginning of September and she’s going to be there. I’m now seriously contemplating getting her books. I need more hilarious bathroom reading. Yes. I’m one of those people who read in the bathroom. Don’t judge. There’s good lighting and ergonomic seating and in there, no one bothers you.

-Thrifty Finn-

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters (To The Government) pt.2

Last Friday was the first of many demonstration against Finnish government and it’s many policies that have brought nothing but social and economical devastation. Demonstration brought together over 700 people. Don’t laugh. Finland is a small country population wise and because of its geographical size and long distances, basically only people in Helsinki and its surrounding areas have an ‘access’ to the right to demonstrate. Wouldn’t be a problem but Finland is very centralized country a la DDR and communist Russia and all the decision making and economic power is in Helsinki. I did some calculations and if China had had the same demonstration, there would have been over 178 000 demonstrating.

Puts the whole event in perspective, doesn’t it? Next demonstration will be on 23rd of May. I’m hopeful that there will be at least twice as many people. Here’s another article in English about the demonstration.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. More interpretations of the theme ‘Letter‘ can be found HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Did I get excited about this week’s theme or did I get excited? I’m a font hoarder extra-ordinaire. I even have a Font Book-titled Pinterest board. Do I use all the fonts? No, I just like to have them.

So what is my approach to the theme? How about some words I spotted at last year’s Rovaniemi Old Market Square Fair?

burlesque muotokuvaus, Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat

Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat, Rovaniemi, Finland

Jätkänpuisto, RWM, Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat, craft fair, Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Now I wish I could hear you peeps trying to say that :D If you are interested, you can find more photos and interpretations HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-