House of Culture - Alvar Aalto 1955-1958

Yesterday we had the great chance to visit with some friends the House of Culture of the city of Helsinki. A friend of mine called the staff of the culture house to arrange a meeting so they would let us in and walk around the lobby and the theater for 2€.

For what I could see in this building, it looked like an experimental cultural space, where he played with several materials and developed different meeting areas in a messy way but absolutely controlled.

The outside amazed me. The bricks had to be done specifically to this project  as far as they had special shape for having this round cladding that nowadays we still enjoy.


As usual, Aalto used brick, steel and copper for the exterior. Creating dynamic volumes and fluid public spaces.


This might be interesting for some architecture students. I should say I always try to get this kind of information but is not so easy and takes quite long to do all these posts...so if anybody is interested in something particular don't doubt in contacting me and I'll gladly help you in your research. As I always say, the aim of this blog is to share information to make our experiences more comfortable, suitable and profitable.
Main floor plan

Cross Section
 As we were speaking during the visit, the indoor spaces are characterized by the use of white cladding, red floor and wooden details.


We've already seen the pillar in Lahti...
Wooden details

Huge
Round stage!

Super design. Everything under control
It was the most sunny Saturday we have had in Finland, so it was a must to have a beer in Kallio before going back to Otaniemi to keep on working as we did.

Finland, place of peace

If there is something I'm getting from my experience abroad, is, with no doubt, the real feeling of peace.
Here in Finland life is not stress, life is no worries and feeling afraid. Here, life tastes different, might be because of the climate, also because of the people...

Nowadays I am very busy with my Wood Studio submission, which is next Wednesday...so I'm most of the time working and I have no time to hang out with my friends to have some fresh air and nice parties. So what I basically do, is twice a day go for biking around the campus, so I can explore the area now we have no snow and also I can take pictures to show you how beautiful is Otaniemi. On my last sleepless night (yesterday's) I recorded several videos of the birds singing and the sun rising, here I leave them so you can realize the very nice atmosphere I work with.


The aim of this post is to show you how powerful is the nature is this country, and how through it, we can enjoy our life otherwise.

Breaking the sky

Sunrise from my window. 16th April

23rd April, 4:15a.m. Once more, sunrise for breakfast

Today's sunset in Aalto Campus

Otaniemi's

Otaniemi

Otaniemi's paths are great for jogging. But I bike :)

Who would leave this?
This is my favorite video of the birds singing, sharing this is a must. Hope you like it.


Tapiolan Kirkko - Aarne Ervi 1965

In today's post I want to show you the very nice church you would be able to find in Tapiola keskus, specifically in Kirkkopolku 6, next to the Sokos Hotel and the swimming-hall. Design by Aarne Ervi in 1965, most of it made of concrete, has an intense atmosphere and many details that worth being studied. Actually since I was there I would like to design a church, hopefully I will.

So it was yesterday after lunch that we decided to have a view of it and take a bunch of pictures as far as we are in Easter and also a bit of meditation was needed for the facts that this year have surrounded my live. You can reach it easily on your way to Tapiola, buses 15, 10 and 550 (from Otaniemi) and the stop is the one before Tapiola keskus (where the Stockman is). Walking takes about 20 minutes, by bike less than 15 and you will be there.





Cloister


Sacred font
detail of the font 


Check out the detail. Sewing floor and walls...
Nice ceiling details



Here you can find a cool 3d view of the inner space:

Jazz concert + m·bar


What to do in Helsinki? 

Not everything is studying and traveling to Aalto's buildings, there are also plenty of activities during the week that really worth sharing them! And actually, as the spring is coming, there are more and more cool things to do. I wish I stay here in summer.
For example what we did few days ago; I was luckily invited to go to a jazz concert in Helsinki. It was shorted than we expected, but the atmosphere was the best and well, it was my very first jazz concert, hopefully first of many ahead.

The jazz concert was in the Ahjo Club, in Bulevardi 2, very close to the Sweedish Teather (by Eero Saarinen 1935) We had the incredible chance of listening to Henry Lowther, one of the best trumpets player of the world. On the bottom you can find some information about him.


Henry Lowther and the band
In this club the parties might be very cool
Stylish bar
Amazing toilets, Helsinki is obviously the city of design.

 
After the jazz concert, as it was too soon for going home, we decided to go for a couple of drinks to one of the most cosy bars in Helsinki, the so called mbar in kamppi. I've already been there a couple of times, I recommend to try the warm chocolate with cream, and if you want some snack, the salads are amazing. They also have plenty of teas you will never get tired of testing. Perfect place to hang out with some friends and have a chat.
Very sweet atmosphere
I really like the drawings you can find in the toilets, very good work!!


Actually it was an amazing evening, hopefully there will be plenty more!!!

Thanks once more to matissek for the pictures :)
Na zdravie!!

Some interesting links about this post...


Living in Otaniemi - Renting the sauna

Otra ventaja de vivir en un piso de la asociación de estudiantes (ayy, os dejo el link abajo) es que por sólo 8€ al mes puedes alquilar la sauna del edificio durante una hora un día a la semana.

Todavía recuerdo cuando pagué el primer alquiler y me ofrecieron alquilar la sauna...Me quede un poco como que no sabía qué hacer...por que, para qué quería yo una sauna? Le pregunté a la amable operaria que me explicara cómo funcionaba el tema de la sauna (que no tenía ni idea), amable pero extrañada me dijo que consistía en ducharse, meterse en la sauna, estar allí...volver a ducharse... más sauna... y volverse a casa.
No la alquilé. Su explicación no me convenció en absoluto, no entendía cómo la gente podía estar una hora entera en un sitio donde no puedes leerte un libro, ni dibujar, ni jugar a la video-consola, ni estar con el ordenador, ni hacer maquetas...vamos, que no puedo hacer nada más que pasar calor.

Sin embargo, desde que volví en Enero me he aficionado bastante. Tanto, que voy unas 3 o 4 veces por semana. Normalmente voy a la sauna de la piscina pública de Tapiola (que ya os contaré en otra entrada cómo va eso porque también merece la pena saberlo :) ) y cada domingo, tenemos mi compi de piso y yo reservada la sauna de nuestro edificio, que es la que os enseño hoy.

La entrada está en Servin Maijan tie 6, puedes entrar desde el portal C hasta el I. Se abre con la llave de casa.


Bajas las escaleras y llegas al típico pasillo de trasteros, y entre ellos están las dos saunas. Los lunes está reservado para las chicas, los martes para los chicos, mientras que los jueves es el día de secado y limpieza a fondo de la sauna. Así que se puede alquilar de 9.00 a 23.00 el resto de los días de la semana. Nosotras la tenemos los domingos de 21:00 a 22:00


Por dentro, como cualquier sauna, acabada en madera (creo que es pino) tiene 3 niveles y caben unas 10 personas ampliamente. Diré que hay pocas cosas mejores que estar en la sauna con más amigos, tomándose unas cervezas bien frías, hablando de cómo ha ido la semana y cómo se presenta la próxima. 
Con mi compi de echo es donde más hablamos, porque en casa estamos siempre trabajando con cosas de la escuela, y liadas con las clases. Así que esa hora de los domingos es un paréntesis de desconexión que viene muy bien. De echo ese es uno de los objetivos de la sauna, yo diría que equivale al salón de la casa. 
Sales a refrescarte a la ducha cuando hayas sudado mucho y de paso te traes otra cerveza.

Very nice
Al entrar, recién refrescada, ponemos bien de agua para que la temperatura suba, como no tenemos termómetro no os puedo decir a cuánto solemos estar, pero estimo que a unos 90-120ºC. De esta sauna en concreto tengo que contar que las lamas de madera del techo están mal colocadas. Normalmente se disponen de manera que formen 45º con la estufa para que cuando el calor suba los escaloncitos entre lama y lama, frenen un poco el movimiento del calor. En esta sauna están puestas en paralelo. Así que cuando echas el agua, la persona que esté sentada justo en frente del fuego notará como su cabeza y espalda arden por unos momentos. Estas clases de construcción de madera están teniendo su aplicación!

Some more water?
Aquí no es conveniente meter la mano...
Típicos detalles
En la sauna es obligatorio ir desnudo y si además es pública, hay que ducharse antes de entrar. Era algo que me llamaba la atención y, aunque he tardado, por fin he averiguado el porqué: Cualquier tejido que podamos llevar tendrá entre sus poros restos de jabón, perfume o, en el peor caso (los bañadores) cloro. Si nos duchamos humedeciendo el tejido, al entrar, estos restos perfumados se evaporarán y algunos, como el cloro, pueden resultar tóxicos para los sauneros. Además, si hay varias personas y cada una lleva sus perfumes se puede montar un cisco importante. Por ello están totalmente prohibido los bañadores, y se va desnudo o con una toalla limpia.

Links de interés:
web de la asociaciión de estudiantes: http://ayy.fi/en/
historia de la sauna en wikipedia http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauna