Architecture in Helsinki

As a disclaimer: These photos were taken during a visit in September 2017, so this post may not be representative of this site today.


Design Museum

As its name no doubt suggests, the Design Museum in Helsinki is dedicated to design, both Finnish and international, in its various forms: industrial, fashion, graphic, among others. The museum was established in 1873 by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design, and its first 700 objects were obtained from the Vienna World’s Fair of that year.

When I visited, there was an exhibition called Our Scissors on show. It revolved around Olof Bäckström’s orange-handled Fiskars scissors, which were celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017. Originally developed in 1967, they were the first scissors to have plastic handles, and became a global sensation over the following decades. Fiskars invited artists to use the famed scissors in order to create pieces for this exhibition.

Orange Flower by Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen
Straw Backdrop by Ruffled/Amanda Nistor
Twittering in the Royal Copenhagen Tree by Karen Bit Vejle
Another Plan for Saving the World, Again, Vol. 2221 by Anu Halmesmaa
SÄDE67 by Nikari, SAAS & Petteri Masalin

Originally built as a Swedish school in 1895 by Gustaf Nyström, the building has housed the Design Museum since 1978. The museum’s permanent exhibition consists of over 75,000 objects, 40,000 drawings, and 125,000 photographs, and represents over 1,000 artists.

Museum of Finnish Architecture

Established in 1956, the Museum of Finnish Architecture is the second oldest museum of its kind, devoted specifically to architecture (the first is located in Moscow). The building was constructed in 1899 after a design by Magnus Schjerfbeck, and was originally used by a scientific society of the Universtiy of Helsinki. It wasn’t until 1981 that the museum moved into its current home, and had previously been housed in a wooden pavilion in Kaivopuisto Park.

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