“Confused, happy feelings. The dizzyingly magnificent facilities, ”describes the rector of the University of the Arts Helsinki Kaarlo Hildén. “A tremendously great moment,” says the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts Hanna Johansson. This is how Hildén and Johansson describe their thoughts and moods when a new building is opened on the Sörnäinen campus of the University of the Arts Helsinki in Sörnäinen rantatie 19.
The University of the Arts Helsinki has three academies: the Academy of Fine Arts, the Theater Academy and the Sibelius Academy, and now these are the facilities that will be used by the Academy of Fine Arts.
The building offering the new facilities is called the Mill. The University of the Arts Helsinki is rented there, the owner is Veritas Pension Insurance. The mill has a new part and old protected parts that have been thoroughly renovated: grain silos and the Lindqvist house.
The new part has five floors, Lindqvist’s house has four floors and the silo part has six floors.
The mill covers an area of more than 11,200 square meters and has facilities for the staff of the Academy of Fine Arts and for students of lighting and sound design and staging. The gateway leads to the adjacent Cocos building, which is used by the Theater Academy.
Fine art students are likely to use the new facilities for the very future. “Hopefully longer than the Ateneum,” Johansson insists. The Ateneum building was completed in 1887, and the predecessor of the Academy of Fine Arts, the School of the Finnish Academy of Arts, operated there until 1984.
Johansson rejoices that the visual arts can enter their own house after years of evasion. “From the beginning, these spaces have been designed for the visual arts and contemporary art. There has been wonderful feedback from the teachers. ” So those working in the house are obviously happy with the new building.
When the new building is approaching from the outside, attention is paid to the fact that it adapts in shape and red brick color to the old industrial buildings on the nearby Sörnäinen coastal road.
Opening inside, there is a lobby area and a wide, wide upstairs concrete staircase. The lobby opens to a lighted courtyard around the stairs, which is flooded with light from the large roof window and lamps.
The courtyard of light is the core of the new building, which is surrounded by classrooms. In the upper floors of the light yard, stairs run as if through bridges through the space. If someone has a high-altitude dread, you may want to use an elevator.
They are more remote in the structures of the building. In general, however, it is advisable to use stairs as this will give you healthy exercise.
The wide staircase of the light yard attracts you to stay, Hildén says hopefully. “The light garden also offers an opportunity for a wide range of performances.”
As chief architect worked Asmo Jaaksi says that all stairs and lobbies are places to make art. He says the goal in the design was to create gathering spaces and thus promote community spirit.
The building is also a showcase for the surrounding city, signaling a desire to participate in the life of the district. Jaaksi describes the style as stated, not too giggling.
As an outsider, one also senses a hint of industrial romance. However, Jaaksi points out that the new and the old have been combined in a modernist way.
Spatial solutions seek more interaction. In the lobby on the second floor, which is also part of the courtyard of light, public lectures can be organized, for example.
There are already courses going on in the mill. There will be more students this week and next.
Even now, in the lobby on the second floor, in the courtyard, a group of students are at work. The material seems to be clay, which is on the floor that can withstand a wide variety of materials.
Students pass here and there. This is a learning environment for new generations of visual arts that leaves their mark on them. They will create the formal language of our pictorial thinking in the future. The future is encrypted, but the implications can be great. Can measure how, for example, paintings such as Frost, Wounded angel, Attack, Kullervo’s curse or Sampo forging have had an impact on?
As an environment, the facilities are kind of unfinished. The walls are very empty, as are the floors.
Interior design chief architect Päivi Meuronen says there is no desire to be made too finished, not too shredded. However, there are at least benches coming into the lobbies, art on the walls.
Meuronen says that the floors have small kitchens and meeting rooms, which creates the conditions for interaction.
“The meeting rooms have been intentionally left with empty space for students who can take over the space as they wish.”
In the graphics workspaces, the windows, the sea, the Merihaka, the Hanasaari power plant with its coal piles and the towers of Kalasatama can be seen from the windows in the presence of presses and vacuum cleaners. Inspiring massive views.
The top floor of the new building has a large outdoor terrace, which is suitable for events or educational events, for example. The outer edge of the terrace is a red brick wall extending to the level of the roof, which is opened by spacious windows. They offer sea views.
Terrace it revolves as if it were a red-brick wall, that is, it is reminiscent of a medieval ruined stone church or ruin monastery without a roof. Indeed, some have found that this communicates ruin romance.
Signs of the ruin romance can also be seen, for example, in the students’ space made in the old silo building, where the remains of old structures are visible.
Also in the courtyard next to the street-level sculpture workshop, you can feel rough ruin romance or perhaps better industrial romance.
The courtyard is partly bordered by a red brick building from 1914, ie it belongs to the oldest floor of the Sörnäinen Industrial Buildings. The brick wall shows the strokes of the tooth of time.
The Academy of Fine Arts further strengthens the cultural concentration of the Sörnäinen direction, and cultural activities are always coming to the area. Cultural clusters make cities attractive places for creative and talented people, who then contribute to the success of cities in many ways.