All posts filed under: Architecture

A Letter to Helsinki

Dear Helsinki, visiting you made me thoughtful. You surprised me with your Street Art District, you frightened me with your massive buildings in Katajanokka and you touched my heart with your peculiar language. All these long words and names that I was unable to keep in mind and every time Aleksi* asked me where I’d spent the day I had to describe the place because I had already forgotten its name again. The only Finnish words I could remember were “Kiitos” (Thank you) and “Moi” (Hello) – they were short enough. 😉 *Aleksi was my wonderful Airbnb host – I will tell you more about him below. The trip was very different from what I had expected. I wanted to visited the “Helsinki Design Week” but then everything turned out differently: I arrived with stomach ache and a general feeling of illness which forced me to slow down and listen to my body carefully. Instead of entering the fray I tried to avoid crowded places. I walked along Helsinki’s lakes and sea-coast ate a lot …

Reykjavik’s impressive architecture – Part 01: Harpa

There are two buildings in Reykjavik that deeply impressed me. Both with a unique character. In this first part of impressive Icelandic architecture I will show you the wonderful HARPA – a futuristic concert and conference hall at the old harbour of Reykjavik right beside the sea. HARPA concert hall Inspired by Iceland’s exceptional landscape and its diverse lightning atmosphere HARPA was designed by Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark) and Batteríið Architects (Iceland) in cooperation with the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The two building blocks with angular edges are revetted with a filigree honeycombed steel framework. The space in between is filled with reflecting glass elements that change their colour according to the light of the day and the weather. The name “HARPA” is the result of a competition organized in the year 2009 to find an Icelandic name that is easy to pronounce in every language. The word has different meanings.