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.
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.
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.
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.
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.