Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What is the most beautiful building in Helsinki?

Travis Price attempts to tackle to tricky question--tricky because there is definitely no dearth of beautiful buildings in the city.

"The old wooden triangulated fences on Seurasaari
The detailing of the Nokia buildings in their precision gleaming glass
apartments at Arabia
The new apartments at Arabia
The old Market house is perfection
Senate Square church on the outside only!
The Orthodox Cathedral on the interior.
The Rock Church on the interior
The church needle steeples sing to God
Almost every shop window’s compositions
The Green information booths on Pohjoisesplanadi
I could easily live in one of the Green Trolleys by the sea edge.
The Saarinen  train station and the Kiasma are like great friends.
The entry hallways of the older buildings that simply overflow with decorative walls and ceilings like a flock of graceful peacocks
To be honest, no one building fully knocked me out , yet,  and I am hard pressed to say why.  But, it dawns on me that the building scape, much like the variety of characters both in the Kalevala and the numerous people I have met and fallen in love with in Finland, all together have created a tapestry of musical design that wraps me constantly.  The complexity and simplicity of design has made a marvelous weave.  What a challenging joy for any architect it would be to make the one great building of Helsinki.  I hope I get the chance one day, God save me if I fail and even more so if I succeed!"

Now, what do YOU think? What's YOUR favorite building in Helsinki?


  1. You were spot-on about the interiors and exteriors of the respective churches. The Nokia campus is breathtaking at night because of the way it is lit. I would add the skeletal interior of the Suomenlinna ruins--not designed for aesthetics, but beautiful nonetheless; Suomen Kansallisteatteri; and the Sibelius monument.