So I was pleasantly surprised to see a pingback on my article about the building E1027 and the story that surrounds it E.1027: What Happens in E.1027 Stays in E.1027 especially so seeing that there are so many posts on the interwebs about it.
It’s not often that a new Aalto building appears, and still less often one of his house projects. But in the small Finnish town of Tamisaari (Ekenäs in Swedish), a house designed by Aalto for one of his friends is open for the public after having been restored at the end of 2020.
The Kotilo or Seashell house by Olavi Koponen is a true outlier. A fairly modest house is terms of size and budget but with a concept reimagined according to a couple of core ideas.
A factory from the sixties, a constructivist classic converted with care in 2006 into and art and museum center.
- Completed: 1st stage 1964, second stage 1966, third phase 1974
as WeeGee art Center in 2006
- Address: Ahertajantie 5, 02100 Espoo, Finland
- Size: 23,000 sqm
- Architect: Aarno Ruusuvuori
I have been interested recently in early examples of social housing projects. There are some famous ones that have been well covered like Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna, but Helsinki has a good many which are little known outside of the country.
I went to visit one such small gem in the Vallila area of Helsinki it is the Kone and Silta Workers Housing Block nicknamed Apinalinna or Monkey Castle which is a great example of early social housing in Helsinki. It shows how a good design that is well loved can resonate with its inhabitants down the generations.
Although a country with few people and plenty of space, Finland’s capitol city Helsinki being located on a peninsula finds itself constantly constrained for space by the sea. Luckily the city sits above bedrock which is deep and which frequently punctures the ground. So Helsinki has increasingly used its bedrock to tunnel into and create an underground city. Now with over 400 documented underground facilities and 200 more planned, Subterranean Helsinki is probably one of the largest and most comprehensive underground city systems in the world for its size.
The Tij observatory (2019) sits in the Haringvilet Dam, part of the Sceelhoek Nature reserve in The Netherlands which was opened in 2018 to help improve the biodiversity of the water and coastline there. Tij is Dutch for tide which is apt as the building sits just on the shore overlooking the water.
The reserve is a nesting area for Sandwich terns and the building is inspired by the shape of their eggs. You enter the building via a tunnel so as not to disturb the birds nesting by the shore.
Today I went to The Helsinki Design Week Design Market in Kaapelitahdas. It’s billed as the largest design stock sale in the Nordics and its a great place to get a sense of what is going on in the Finnish Design scene. Mainly fashion and product design but food, interiors and jewellery etc was there to see and it was great to see how many future worldwide brands could be bubbling up here.
Rehome are ten student furniture designers from Lahti University. They have designed cardboard and plywood furniture that can be assembled without the need for tools. Because they can be manufactured and deployed quickly, among other things they can be used to help house refugees where an efficient, quick and flexible response is needed. From first concept to implementation this is a really great idea.
They have just been to Milan design Fair so hopefully their ideas will be exposed to as wide an audience as possible.
The story of 666 Fifth Avenue the New York Skyscraper that might help bring down the Kushners. Finland tops 2018 UN global happiness index (up from 5th last year) good job since I live in Finland! Kottke is 20, looking forward to the next 20 Jason. The Portland Building a Postmodern posterboy back in the day is getting refurbished, I have never understood why this building is famous….Also RIP Stephen Hawking.