Every two years the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA) puts on an exhibition of the best 25 buildings by Finnish Architects over the previous two years. 0607 Started last week in Helsinki and is shortly opening in Paris in their Architecture centre also, but I have assembled a guide to each building in the exhibition just in case you aren’t in Helsinki or Paris this summer, or are in Finland and actually want to visit a building or two. Its a kml which you can download in google earth or view in google maps (see the links at the bottom of this post). I have visited some of the buildings already and thought to write a few words about it before I go.
Firstly I think its a fair reflection of where Finnish Architecture is today and the only building I know about and that I’m surprised is not in is the Kotilo or Seashell house by house by Olavi Koponen. Private houses and public competition lead schemes provide most of the best work with Sandels Cultural Centre by Juha LeiviskÃ¤ being one that stands out for me in particular, maybe because I have visited it.
Housing is again the week link in the exhibition, and shows up I would say are major weaknesses in the housing market in Finland. Apartment blocks here really are basically terribly boring. Both the construction method which is universally precast elemental block design and the conceptualisation of these designs is monotonous in the extreme non of the invention and risk taking evident in Danish housing at the moment are on show here. Even a cursory look at 0607 and then the previous buildings published in the previous two exhibitions in 0504 and 0302 would show you that in this area Finnish design is stagnant, staid and doesn’t serve the public well at all. A notable exception is the Triadi apartments by Huttunenâ€“Lipastiâ€“Pakkanen architects, was it a private commission? – I’ll see if I can find out .
Also why not a proper website for this exhibition and the previous ones? If you want to market Finnish Architecture design to the world you must include this method. It was actually done better previously see Finland Bygger website which covers Finnish Architetcure between the years 1992-97 before this current bi-annual format was launched. This format is, I think, an excellent way to provide a continuously updating overview of the Architecture scene here, the missing exhibition website is a big oversight however if you want to push Finnish Architecture internationally.
The kml I have made is a network link so when I update locations and descriptions after I see the exhibition in person, the file will also update automatically, in the meantime I hope you find it interesting. I will also at some point soon add the previous two exhibitions to the file. It is also worth noting that at the moment Google Earth has surprisingly bad imaging outside of Helsinki. Tampere and Turku Finland’s next biggest cities and with populations approaching 200,000 have no good satelite data at all, please google I hope you can change this soon.
FINNISH ARCHITECTURE 0607 is at the MFA between (4.6.2008 – 28.9.2008)