Three weeks’ respite for designer hotel plans

Yesterday’s meeting of the planning committee (or whatever) left the dual cruciform ‘on the table for three weeks’. For your delectation another view. From NJK on Valkosaari (an island).

Site seen from NJK

This left me with the idea (if not really the time) to chase up the documentation. To my delight I discovered the most, most interesting commentary by the ‘international architects’ mentioned in the press.

I plead guilty of prejudging my country-folk – ‘international’ didn’t actually just mean ‘non-Finnish’, those whose representations are available as pdfs include Steven Holl (e.g. of Kiasma-fame), Jukka Jokilehto (historian & expert in conservation) and his Italian neighbours Giovanni Carbonara [sic] and Calogero Bellanca and Andres Alver from across the water in Tallinn. (The documents can be downloaded here, under Agenda item 5, Liite (attachment) 8.) All are critical, not of H&DM’s designs, but of forcing a project of this scale and shape into this space. Morphology was a word that stood out, and the point that this has to do not with a single building but with the architecture of the city. (Aldo Rossi is mentioned in one of the comments. Note to self. Find. Read.)

Time prevents me from doing more (you’ll be relieved). Though it’s only for three weeks, and though I know that the blogosphere is heaving with impassioned as well as informed debate (facebook is amazing for its debates! And a place where people can without hesitation articulate their fears about corruption and other malpractice) it’s almost enough to drive me to suggest to Mr P that we might indulge in a wee glass of something nice.

Later I must return to some questions that still bug me about all this. Is Finland (or its elite) obsessed, as some say to me, with architecture as buildings rather than as urban morphology? What’s the prognosis for a) starchitecture generally (wow-architecture or wau-arch. in Finnish),  b) waterside development and in consequence c) the free (up til now) magic of a shoreline?


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One response to “Three weeks’ respite for designer hotel plans

  1. Pingback: Architects talk funny « Jees Helsinki Jees

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