Monthly Archives: August 2015

Blog Book | year two

I am a little behind schedule. In fact, years behind schedule. But to give you a break from the Helsinki parade that has been happening since January, here is a post about the book OH! design blog | year two.

OH! design blog_ year two Cover

The following are a few random spreads from the publication, which is a selection of my favorite posts from the second year of the OH! design blog. It really isn’t anything too fancy, it just makes me feel fancy to say I’ve made a book (now TWO books).

8-9

10-11

54-55

96-97

108-109

114-115

186-187

194-195

238-239

246-247

See the full book on issuu by clicking here.

For those who have been following since day one, thanks for sticking around. Hope to have year three done someday soon.

For those that are just now joining, where have you been? What the heck took you so long? Geez… Some people…

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Helsinki Files 09: Architectural Anatomy

I’ve honestly never heard this song, I just searched “library” and this popped up. It seems surprisingly fitting, so enjoy it.

Helsinki Library cover

I’ve been excited to post about this project since I photographed it. I think it is an excellent example of contemporary Finnish architecture. It is fresh. It is clean. It is quiet. It is fun. It is the Helsinki University Library.

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 3

The exterior facade is actually sort of confusing and is perhaps my least favorite part of the building. It is by no means bad, but the interior is just so nice. Just wait. You’ll see.

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 2

University of Helsinki Library_Exterior 1

Once inside the building, you are confronted by this atrium composed of stacked ovals that decrease in size as you move up the building. It is the exact opposite of most building atriums, and is very cool.

University of Helsinki Library_Atrium 2

This post is called “Architectural Anatomy” because, you must agree, this atrium looks like a digestive tract or something. Right???

University of Helsinki Library_Atrium 1

These rings you see from below that make up the atrium are lined with workspace on the levels above.

University of Helsinki Library_Desk facing Atrium 1

It is simultaneously cool and annoying. I suppose it is a cool place to work, but I wish I could walk up to the edge and look down.

University of Helsinki Library_Desk facing Atrium 2

There are also secondary atriums that face those large curves of glazing visible from the facade.

University of Helsinki Library_Secondary Atrium 2

University of Helsinki Library_Secondary Atrium 1

Aside from all these cool spaces that have great sectional qualities, the building is very clean and modern. It is just a nice place to be.

University of Helsinki Library_Chill Zone

Apologies to all the innocent, Finnish students that were photographed and published without their permission. If you have an issue with any of these photographs, please get in touch with my secretary. She will be certain you are compensated for any trauma I may have caused. Her contact info is posted somewhere in this +3 year long blog… good luck finding it…

University of Helsinki Library_Study Space

University of Helsinki Library_Stacks

Though I am not sure if this next photo is taken in an area that qualifies as part of the Helsinki University Library, it illustrates one interesting point. Notice the cold blue of the apertures and the warm glow of the interior. It is fairly common to have very warm materials and lighting in Finnish buildings as it is a reaction to the bitter cold and dark days of winter.

University of Helsinki Library_Warm Interior

Have you ever seen concrete look so warm?

Only a few more Helsinki posts. Be strong. 

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Helsinki Files 08: Listen to the Music

Helsinki Music Centre_Exterior night 2 Cover

The Helsinki Music Centre (spelled this way because it is European) is a cool building. That’s about all I remember at this point since it has been so long since I took these photographs…

Helsinki Music Centre_Exterior Amphitheater

It is a nice series of glass, stone, and metal volumes that intersect and are cut away, bordered by a generous stepped lawn.

Helsinki Music Centre_Exterior Day

The green metal volume is a actually some kind of dimpled panel, illustrated below.

Helsinki Music Centre_Facade Material Detail

If the exterior is considered quiet, then the interior could be called loud. It isn’t crazy by any means. very clean detailing, but very nice and very interesting. You could almost call it nuanced in a positive way.

Helsinki Music Centre_Entry

In this grand, atrium type space there is a long stair that ducks under a dangerous looking sculpture.

Helsinki Music Centre_Interior Lobby

At night the reflections of colored light off of this artwork casts brilliant patterns throughout the space.

Helsinki Music Centre_Interior Lobby 2

But the entire building isn’t so architecturally loud. The halls surrounding the main auditorium are very simple and generously dimensioned (in case you were curious about the building’s dimensions…).

Helsinki Music Centre_Interior Hall

And in said halls are supporting program, like a small coffee stand and tables to eat a snack at before a performance.

Helsinki Music Centre_Cafe Seating

The glazing is held up by these interesting struts that allow the human scale space to be mullion free and could potentially be used as a pull-up bar by rambunctious Americans.

Helsinki Music Centre_Glass structure detail

The most interesting part of the music center is the interface between the actual performance hall and the rest of the building. However, it is inevitable that the most noteworthy part of the building went undocumented by yours truly.

At night the large glazed portions of the volumes glow warm green in the cold Helsinki night.

Helsinki Music Centre_Exterior night

I count five more posts about this ancient Helsinki trip before I can proceed to post about more current things guilt free. Bear with me as I get through this painfully long process. 

Or don’t… I’m not in the business of telling you what to do. 

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