What do you do if you’re an already terrific city, but you’re suddenly struck jealous that “a rather scruffy harbour city” like Bilbao has Frank Gehry come in, do up a little “just stick a bunch of metal anywhere it’ll fit” magic and whamo, it gives a huge boost to their economy and makes Bilbao a choice destination? Well, if you’re Helsinki, you say, “We should do that too. Let’s all agree that we need to do that, okay?” The little questions, like what exactly you should build, are the details you handle later. Helsinki’s had a lot of starts and stops, and it sounds like they have some solid ideas in the works, but as for now, it’s still in the “Remember that Gehry and Bilbao thing we talked about last week? We should really talk about that again.” Here’s some:
“Finnish architecture is at a high general level, but the real peaks are lacking. If one runs a finger down the list of the top ten names in contemporary international architecture, there are no Finns to be found.”
One such “iconic structure” could have been the information centre for architecture, design, and building that was planned for a waterfront site in Katajanokka. However, the project — under the working name Armi — came tumbling down after the Finnish Society for Crafts and Design withdraw their support for the venture.