Exhibition review: Finnish Architecture 2010/2011
Review: Finnish Architecture 2010/2011
HELSINKI (FI) - In 2004, a new exhibition concept was initiated at the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA). At the time, it was decided to create an exhibition about the best Finnish architecture every two years. Currently, the exhibition still follows the two-year concept, but it has been changed in a few ways: now there are only a dozen or so works, and this time there are also video interviews with the project users.
Displayed in the large exhibition hall of the MFA are examples of housing, smaller or larger public buildings, city planning projects and even a temporary project, plus two more-or-less exclusive summer houses. The chosen projects were made known by the organizers many weeks prior to the exhibition, so there were no surprises on opening day.
The users of the various projects have been filmed and interviewed apart from the context of the buildings; instead they sit on a black podium. This is an exhibition-aesthetic solution, but one that is a little bit cold. There are three bigger screens plus a few smaller videos which can be watched on tablets placed on two large white tables. On the same tables are drawings and other designs – printed as booklets for leafing through – and models, plus some examples of materials used in the buildings.
The jury members were architects Juhani Pallasmaa and Jari Frondelius from Finland, plus Carl-Viggo Hœlmebakk from Norway and a counselling advisor, Helena Solmakallio.
The idea to give the users and the clients, that is, students, day-care centre staff, doctors, and so forth, the possibility to express opinions about the buildings, and to show these videos (in Finnish, with English subtitles) in the same space as the exhibited buildings, has not been a success. Or perhaps the idea succeeds, but the realization does not quite. There is too much disturbing noise, which prevents visitors from concentrating on, for instance, the sketches, plans, sections and such. For a person who comes from outside the field of architecture, the design and layout of the exhibition might be a bit too 'architect-cool', and the acoustics can be really disturbing. The museum has also tried to encourage visitors to write comments on yellow Post-it notes.
The exhibition consists of one large photograph per project, texts by the jury and information about the architects. On two white tables there are models and A3-sized booklets with drawings and sketches. The rest of the photographic material can be found in the catalogue, which is bigger in format than those of previous exhibitions.
The chosen projects are cool, elegant, and mostly do not have any big trendy gestures, which evidences the tastes of the jury members. The jury had 125 projects from which to choose, but what I miss is the St Lawrence Chapel, by AVANTO Architects, and the Kuokkala Church, by Lassila Hirvilammi Architects and Jani Jansson, which I have also had the chance to experience first-hand. The Kilden by ALA is there, as well as the Helsinki Music Centre. There are only two housing projects, and two villas – exclusive in the sense that one is for an artist and the other is for the architects, Adlercreutz, themselves. There are two day-care centres and two buildings that deal with health services.
The list of projects can be found online
, also on Facebook and Twitter. The exhibition will be on view until the end of September 2012.
Friday | 8 June | 2012 | Finland | Tarja Nurmi