Helsinki Files 10: Forever Finlandia

Finlandia_Cover

HOLY CRAP WHO EVEN CARES ANYMORE???

I know, right? Sorry, but it would kill me not to share a few more of my Finnish memories, however distant they may be. Especially this Alvar Aalto classic: Finlandia Hall.

Finlandia_Exterior4

From the outside, this triumph of modernism appears as a jumbled composition of masses, protruding and gliding through and across one another. It is, as you would expect, white Carrara Marble from Italy.

Finlandia_Exterior3

Finlandia_Exterior2

Finlandia_Exterior1

The fascinating patterning of the marble is not as purposeful as you may think. The way each piece bends and curves into each other is actually a side effect of the stone’s expansion and contraction and has caused pieces of the facade to “pop-off” without notice.

How do you say “HEADS UP!” in Finnish?

Finlandia_MarbleTexture

At night it is illuminated with lights that may or may not change colors… I honestly don’t remember…

Finlandia_ExteriorNight

The interior of the building, much like the exterior, is classic Alvar Aalto. Warm materials and quiet spaces filled with daylighting strategies and custom luminaires. It is just as lovely as it is simple.

Finlandia_MainStair

Finlandia_InteriorDaylightWells

The auditorium seems very futuristic to me. Google it if you like, better pictures than the following exist.

Finlandia_Auditorium1

For some reason, nothing is as futuristic as the pre-show lounge. This seems to me like a set out of Bladerunner.

Finlandia_Lounge

RIGHT???

Finlandia_Lounge2

And, as stated earlier, the custom Aalto luminaires:

Finlandia_AaltoLuminaire

Interesting wayfinding details:

Finlandia_ElevatorSign

And tile, in both black and white:

Finlandia_WhiteTile

Finlandia_BlackTile

Also, these interesting acoustic panels that look suspiciously like duck feet… What does it all mean?

Finlandia_AcousticDuckFeet

When paired with a curved wall, the light from the suspended cans cast through the acoustic panels creates wave patterns across the walls.

Finlandia_AcousticDuckFeet2

Such a splendid building. You know you must visit it, so I won’t nag you.

GO VISIT IT.

I Lied… But if you aren’t into architecture, at least go to see these puny Christmas trees:

Finlandia_ChristmasTree

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2 thoughts on “Helsinki Files 10: Forever Finlandia

  1. Gaylen says:

    Thanks for posting Omar, it has always been one of my favorite Aalto buildings. Love the leaning forward thrust of the auditorium because of the dark blue design on the side walls. I read in an arch mag that they were going to reclad the building in a new marble faced composite panel that would keep it from cupping. Guess that are still saving up for the job.
    Enjoyed the post and as always, your commentary.
    Gaylen

  2. Suvi says:

    Nice to see these buildings in this post and others through your eyes!

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