A Culture Palace in Helsinki

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A Culture Palace in Helsinki

 Erik Revellé and Hanieh Heidarabadi


Our proposal for a Culture Palace in Helsinki will be an important new culture node. The main flow of visitors will come from the city centre and pass the Market Hall on their way before arriving at the site. By bridging the existing basins we elongate the waterfront promenade on the east side of the South Harbour from the Market Square down towards the Observatory Hill Park allowing for residents of Helsinki to finally take a stroll along the water. Due to the close proximity to the emerging Design District, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Finnish Design Museum we created a new connection with our Landscape Bridge. The barrier of the heavy trafficked road was an important factor when designing the Landscape Bridge that connects the site to the Observatory Hill Park. From the site visitors can easily access the park and continue the promenade towards the Design District.
The vision for our cluster of objects is to enable Helsinki to see things in a new way while still maintaining its industrial harbour heritage. A stroll through our project leads the visitor through a series of individual spaces with different characteristics, the Waterfront Promenade, the Grove, the Exhibition Tower, the Exhibition Hall, the Exhibition Courtyard, the artificial archipelago with public pools and saunas, the Landscape Bridge and the park. In our proposal for a new Culture Palace we try to include something for everybody.


Who influences you graphically?

We worked very consciously with references as a way of understanding each other and help our collaboration during the design process.The offices or the projects we found most interesting were the ones that used images and illustrations in a conscious way and as tools, not just as means of representating a finished project. Among these references we were influenced by the representational work of offices like Baukuh, DOGMA, Fala Atelier, Office KGDVS, OMA and 51N4E but also by the the work of several fellow students.


What tools do you use?

Books, Pens, Knifes, Foamcutters, Brushes, Photoshop, Sponges, Illustrator, AutoCAD, Models, Rhino, Collages, InDesign, Glue, Images, SketchUp, Paper, Tape.

When looking back how do the final views relate to the initial collages?

The early collages were a way for us to try to capture ideas and thoughts that we wanted to keep in the project or things that felt important at that time. We’re acctually quite suprised with how many of the ideas brought forward in those early and very quick collages made it through all the way to the very end.

What role does Rousseau, Bruegel and Koons’ works play in symbolically illustrating your multitude of functions? To what extent does the use of this imagery relate to the artistic nature of the Guggenheim?

When working on the collages we tried to use source materials that had a purpose, that conveyed our ideas in a clear way. We liked the idea of having art from different countries, epochs and artists mix in single images as a way of illustrating the diversity in possible visitors and activities.

What significance does the colour grey hold? And to what extent does its possible role as a backdrop to the activities allow for the flourishing of these?

We find a grey bare concrete wall beautiful. It’s also the perfect canvas for highlighting the mix of activities that we envision in our proposal. Our proposal is about a diversity and a variety of both functions and visitors. It’s a critique of the homogeneous art museum. We see our Culture Palace as almost merely a container of activites and possibilities.

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