Posts Tagged ‘architecture


237/2011 at the Art Chapel

237/2011 at the Art Chapel, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

This unusual masterpiece of modern architecture is St. Henry’s ecumenical art chapel, built on an island, off our town, in 2005. From the outside it resembles a fish, or a boat turned upside down. The outside shape and copper walls give little indication of the warm Finnish pine interior. Its simplicity is breathtakingly beautiful, and every detail is meticulously thought through! The natural light from both sides of the altar, creates a constantly changing ambience of shadows. No wonder it is very popular for weddings. The chapel, as its name suggests, also holds art exhibitions, and thanks to its wonderful acoustics, it is used as a concert venue, too.

I never knew that our town has such a architectural gem until I got a chance to visit it for a guided tour today. This is what it looks like outside.


117/2011 stairs of knowledge

117/2011 stairs of knowledge, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Attending a further training course at the university of Helsinki. Typical modern campus with square building, and straight lines and lots of glass walls. And the inevitable stairs to climb up, symbolically towards more and more knowledge and understanding.


100/2011 fight for turku – lost?

Yesterday was the premiere of the documentary ‘Fight for Turku’, about the destruction of a lot of beautiful old architecture in our town, over the last 50 years. One point of the documentary was to show how, after World War II, people wanted something modern in place of the old, and that’s when the monstrous concrete blocks started appearing. Another point were young alternative artists, who still keep squatting old deserted buildings, demanding an autonomous cultural centre for themselves, but time after time, they lose the battles against politicians, and big construction companies.

Seeing the film really opened my eyes to look at my town differently. The same phenomenon is still rampant all over town. Money talks. How long before this unusual corner house will have to go, and another characterless box will rise in its place? The one behind it is already gone!


070/2011 moonlit memories

070/2011 moonlit memories, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I tried to catch the crescent of the moon above the art museum that I visited today, only to realize that it was far too small and far away to feature in this photo. In reality, the scene reminded me very much of another scene I shot in India last year:

Both building are constructed of white stone, but in very different styles. This one, a very modern, functional, straight-lined nordic structure from the 1960s, contrasts with the intricately decorated Mughal masterpiece of the 17th century. Interesting how a fleeting moment, and the moon shining above, created the association in my memory.


024/2011 seen from a distance

024/2011 seen from a distance, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

During a fun ladies’ night out in a local restaurant, we spotted this lovely old stained glass window. Sitting around the table, chatting and laughing, it didn’t strike me as anything unusual, and I didn’t really pay attention to it at all. It wasn’t until we started taking group pictures froma distance that its beauty was revealed. The building dates back to the late 19th century, and is a lovely example of the jugend style of the time.

Sometimes we need to look from afar to see what is near!


#55 nature-inspired architecture

Nature is an important source of inspiration for Finnish architecture, and art in general. A lot of buildings and designs derive their shapes from the vast areas of untouched nature around us.

Maybe that is why I found this building in Singapore the most interesting. It is the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, only opened in 2002 as the venue for performing arts in Singapore. It is colloquially called “the durian”, referring to the tropical fruit that it very much resembles in shape.

Durian is a challenge for me. I find its smell rather repulsively strong and strange, and haven’t managed to get used to its peculiar taste either during all my travels in Asia. Yet, locals consider it the king of fruits. For me, the smell is somehow petrollic, and the taste like overcooked onion.


#25 exploring our new town library

025/365 exploring our new library, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Once again the Daily Shoot assignment led me to have a closer look at something.

“Right (90-degree) angles can help define a composition. Make a photograph involving intersecting lines.”

Straight away, I thought about the new, modern extension to our 100-year-old town library, which was completed just over a year ago. I just love the long row of big windows along the street, offering interesting reflections at different times of the day. And from another angle, you can see people sitting inside, immersed in their reading. Fascinating!

Looking for 90-degree angles and straight lines, and then seeing the reflection of the tree in this window, made me think about how practically impossible it is to find straight lines and angles in nature, at least on the surface. Interestingly, though, Finnish architecture and design are often dominated by very straight and simple forms, in a country that otherwise is blessed with so much forest and untouched nature. It’s as though we humans need to bring order and structure into the wild, natural world around us.

I also started thinking about libraries in general. While more and more of the small, local brances are sadly being closed down, I am happy about the revival of this main one. It’s the favourite place for my daughter and her school friends to go and study, bringing their own laptops with them.

I have uploaded some more photos from today’s library visit in this Flickr set.


July 2020

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