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Featured article from: Issue #2, 2016


Arja Miller is the Chief Curator of Collections at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. These are her five places in Helsinki.



Kiasma’s architecture has always been a life-affirming experience to me. It is great to work in an environment like this in the midst of contemporary art and artists. The American Steven Holl designed Kiasma as a chiasmus of art and people, which it truly is, a cosy, active and international living room where you can enjoy the most exciting of contempary art.

KiasmaTue 10–17, Wed–Fri 10–20.30, Sat 10–18, Sun 10–17. Mannerheiminaukio 2.


In Löyly (Steam) you find the traditional Finnish sauna within a beautiful framework by the untamed open sea. The form of the fantastic creation by Avanto architects emulates the shape of Helsinki’s seaside rock formations. Löyly is, to me, an ecological and aesthetic unity of Finnish nature, welfare and design at its best.

Restaurant open Mon–Thu 10–24, Fri–Sat 10–02, Sun 10–22.
Sauna open Mon–Wed 16–22, Thu 13–22, Fri–Sat 13–23, Sun 13–21. Morning sauna: Sat 8–10.

Hernesaarenranta 4.


The former abattoir has changed into one of the most distinctive restaurant hubs that offers various forms of urban recreation, festivals, markets and urban agriculture, as well as mind-blowing gourmet experiences in a very sympathetic space.

Teurastamo. Työpajankatu 2. 


Only a short boat ride from Kaivopuisto is Pihlajasaari, one of the fabulous oases of Helsinki, an island where I visit at least once every summer by a scheduled boat or by my own boat. There are cliffs, beaches and forest with mushrooms and berries on the island. At the other end of ‘Pihlis’ is a lovely restaurant standing on a rock and serving smoked fish on the terrace.

Pihlajasaari Island. Helsinkians just love Pihlajasaari, accessible by ferry from Merisatama. Hourly ferry from Ursininlaituri, Merisatamanranta 10, 13.5.–3.9. & 9.–10.9. and from Ruoholahti, Kellosaarenranta 1, 17.6.–13.8.

Lapinlahti hospital

Known for the Empire milieu of the Senate Square Carl Ludwig Engel was appointed to plan the mental hospital in Lapinlahti, near the idyllic cemetery of Hietaniemi. The building no longer houses a hospital, while it is developing into an interesting cultural milieu with art shows, artists’ studios and a café.

Lapinlahti hospital. Lapinlahdentie 1.