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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Favourite Buildings Visited - the Kiasma (Museum), Finland...


The Kiasma museum of contemporary art in Helsinki was designed by the American architect Steven Holl and opened in 1998. Located in central Helsinki, adjacent to Mannerheimintie, the main artery transversing through the Finnish capital, the museum has become a recognizable landmark in its own right in an area of the city that's already saturated with architectural reference points (Lasipalatsi, the Helsinki Central Railway Station, the Finnish Parliament Building, the Ateneum, to mention a few...).
The Kiasma, which includes a number of quite unconventional exhibition spaces that don't necessarily subscribe to the arguably more neutral, 'white box', phenomena so prevalent amongst other more recent museum or gallery developments, and the value of which is even today a hotly debated topic, was partly initiated by this somewhat convoluted, yet still charming and surprisingly tactile, museum of contemporary art.

The museums central concourse...

View from the reception...

One of the top level galleries...

A statue of Marskalk Mannerheim, the war time general and former Finnish president. The statue occupied a site adjacent to the museum already before its conception. It's location and relationship to the museum was a hotly debated topic during the museum's development and commencement as the Marskalk (Marshal) hold a very distinguished position in Finnish history and psyche...

An external view of (semi-hidden) loading docks...

A view of the museum's 'back' facade...

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