Aalto fans. Sunday in Paimio and around.

Architecture, Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling, Turku

Paimio is an insignificant village close to Salo (near Turku), but it is where you find another architecture pearl by Alvar Aalto: the former tuberculosis sanatorium. Apparently before the ATBs were used in fighting tuberculosis in the 1950s, people had been often sent to these, errr, sanatoriums where they were treated with fresh air, high hygiene standards, fresh colours and proper food. Every third patient did not quite make it, but hey, it was a way to stop the disease from spreading at least.

Nevertheless, the sanatorium made Aalto famous abroad – functionalism at its best, practical AND pretty. Oh and the atmosphere is stunning.  I could not stop thinking that there is TB bacteria hiding somewhere.

But in fact after the scientist found more efficient ways to defeat TB, the sanatorium was used as a “normal” hospital for 40 years since the 1970s. The hospital closed a few year ago and parts of it have been rented by MLL afterwards. Some activities take place in some parts of the sanatorium during the weekedays, which means that the hospital at the weekend – when the guided tours take place – feels superempty and exciting.

Well, havea look for yourself.

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Fresh pine-scented air and sun – sounds legit.MIU_6146MIU_6143

Aalto waves, fresh, bright colours, absence of corners for hygiene reasons.MIU_6138MIU_6122MIU_6118MIU_6092

The 1970s meet Aalto.MIU_6131

Aaltos none functioning tile stove – a slight design fail 😉 the smoke does not really sink down, does it…MIU_6100

Hygienic lights. Chapel and social room in one.MIU_6112

FreE toilet boot and a smart door handle which won’t catch your sleeve.MIU_6114

Sophisticated ventilation.MIU_6129

Spitter and “silent” hand sinks.MIU_6155MIU_6140

Young scared birdy in the garden… we let her be.MIU_6165

7 minutes.

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki, Likes, Picture a day

Sometimes I like to play invisible. Unnoticed. One of the crowd.

It only takes to go out of the flat and shop for milk. Return a book to the library and have a smalltalk with the librarian. Or even to put on clothes (the basic bitch kind, nothing showing too much personality) and a kånken and get out of the flat. Just do anything as long as I feel like I’m surrounded by the anonymous crowd – and as long as people might think I’m one of them. Act. Get some life context. Pretend. 

That I have a decent (read: 9-5) job. That I’m healthy. That I’m tired like everyone else and looking forward to go home. Or to meet my imaginary friends. Or to go to a yoga course and then watch tv.

The reason why I’m trying so bad to blend in and be accepted and seen as a part of the grey crowd is the current mental state – I feel like I’m just way too odd, that everybody else is having a balanced, content life and I’m just flying by the seat of one’s pants. Having arty aspiration, working from home or profoundly alone, doing research, meeting people on my own, thinking and analysing on my own, far away from my uni, being a foreigner, currently not feeling well (spring depression anyone?) – you see, for a few minutes I was just the girl in the flower leggings sitting on the tram, stripped of my abilities, worries and fears.

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And two little Töölö details – I swear I did not have to photoshop these, or even use the polarizing filter: the sky really was this blue (but it was pretty chilly otherwise).

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Töölö doors. Töölö gate bars. Töölö atmosphere from when Finland was a newborn…

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(The heading of this post inspired by Michal.)

Va(a)sa and Ostrobothnia.

Architecture, Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle, Pampas, Traveling

A large part of my fieldwork takes place in Ostrobothnia – around the towns of Va(a)sa, Jakobstad, Karleby and similar. And the region quickly became one of my favourite places in the world; I’m not going to beat around the bush, to a large extent I would attribute this to the large percentage of Swedish speakers and their culture present…

… or it just could be due to the fact that I actually met with and got to talk to really friendly people;) but hey, the landscape (especially the rural areas and Kvarken archipelago) and urbanscape is worth a visit!

First a few shots from the town of Vasa… the very city centre is dominated by concrete. But there is a lot of wood and history just outside the centre.

As the destiny wanted I found myself at Stundars open air museum one night. It was closed for public and beautifully lit by the setting sun.

 

And of course I was criss-crossing the urban areas, mostly around Malax municipality:

(I totally love the following shot:)

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One lovely day I had some spare time to kill, so I decided to take a short trip to Strömsö – to get the glimpse of perfection. For those outside of Finland, Strömsö is the name of this Finnish-Swedish show for people loving their homes. You will find all kinds of interesting recipes, instructions and home-improvement tips. The show takes place in  the- yes, Strömsö masion – just off Vasa, and the whole point of the show is that… that nothing ever goes wrong on the show. You will get 30 minutes of perfect living in a beautiful old wooden house (and a modern sauna and a modern shed with all kinds of tools and equipment where all the project shootings take place – #CHEATING!). And witness the making a lot of unnecessary decoration items… Home bliss!

And of course I had to share the beauty of pampas (Österbotten) with V. – and we decided to spend a calm evening in a Fisherman’s house (for real) in Molpe, Malax. The largest part of the trip went to visiting the Bergö archipelago and picking lingonberry. Amazing. Peaceful. Smelling and feeling great.

On the way back to Helsinki we passed – accidentally almost – village of Harrström. And it was a pleasant visit, despite the rain! We visited the windmill – the largest functioning wooden windmill in Finland, and it was so AWESOME. I mean I never got to see the windmill from inside. The experience felt so genuine – last visitors before us visited the mill in late July, there was dust and mouse droppings and middlings and other objects typical for… uhm… milling wheat, duh. Sounds gross, but it was awesome. So was the bridge built in 1898 (and still in use) and the whole vibe of a sea-near village. Definitely worth a visit should you be driving along the coast.

It was a lot of fun – and so has this week been as well. I enrolled in a weaving course and I think I found a new hobby. Want to see the result of my week efforts? Check out my instragram! (@milleristine)

And most importantly, take good care of yourselves. Life is way too brittle.

I had this thought

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Helsinki, Likes

to share, but it is quite late and I cannot for the love of cats remember a letter of it. I just know it was pretty witty and deep at the same time. It was about recycling and why buying second hand makes sense, and that it is not a money matter but a concrete act of (e)conscience and fight against sweat-shop based economy. I know you are dying to know all about it, so let’s skip to the visual, shall we.

First, a few silent moments from Malminkartanonhuippu:

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And now a leap to Eira. Some details to begin with: “always aiming high, always ready”…

… a few uninteresting details and the mysterious shabby house on Rehbindirentie 13…

… and the last, pretty trivial, set: Doors of Helsinki again – this time from Eira…

Of course this cannot be it. Guess what I found among these lovely houses, one of best Helsinki addresses?

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That’s right. Russian embassy. Growl.

Is it OK if I don’t want to write anything for the moment?

Architecture, Blogroll, Doors of Helsinki, Helsinki

Partly because I don’t know what to say, partly because it’s pretty late, yet I cannot go to bed without posting some pictures which are safe and somehow pleasant to look at. I guarantee that they won’t make you jealous or feel bad about your life, your figure or your purpose in life. Nor will they force my life into your face. Nor will they make you feel sorry for the less fortunate ones. A few days ago I caught a sunny afternoon for once, so I grasp the opportunity and drove to Lammassaari… and walked and listened to birds and cracking ice and the humming of the cars bringing their drivers back home from work.

The second par of this post is way more concrete. Way more tangible. Way more Helsinki. I took a walk around the city centre and took picture of doors and gates. I tried to grasp the art-nouveau feel of Helsinki, the one really hard to explain to visitors acquainted with the French/Central European version of this style. Sometimes (read: often) the art-nouveau mixes with romanticism and revival of Finnish mythology, typical for late 19th century, so please excuse me not being consistent in my focus – but the walk was great. Weather, light and cars parked in front of some of the unique gates not that much.

 

Winter joke.

Architecture, Blogroll, Helsinki

Everyone has heard one of those “aha-ha-ha” long jokes about how tolerant Finns are toward low temperature. Well. I’m now one of them. The day the mean daily temperature jumped up from -18°C to mere -2°C felt like summer…

… sadly, now the temperature has been just above zero for over a week, and the lack of not only sun but any kind of “real” weather is draining our energy. Slush, rain, wind and grey emptiness is what Finland has to offer these days.

Still life on a random building site.

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Today, however, while having been to Matosaari, the sky opened and I laughed stupidly at about 5 minutes of sunshine. It was heavenly, it was needed and deserved I dare to say…

… and some more impressions from the trip to Matosaari:

I was quite active today and made it to the Kansallisarkisto (National Archives) in Helsinki centre. I had been wanting to visit the spot for months, and finally I collected the courage.

It was not information I was after but first, a little statue of the Wisdom Mouse which was supposed to be located somewhere around the Archives’ main building. Found it.

Extra points to those who recognise the building at which the mouse is looking.

The second reason was to find and awe at the old research hall in the main building. It was better than in the photographs. Any photographs.

I have to say that the guy who questioned my stay in the hall was really friendly, understanding and shared my passion for quirky buildings. Thank you, Mr Unknown, for letting me stay, climb around and take all those pictures.