Up and down like a …

Yo-yo? Whore’s drawers? (Though I’ve already once been told off for using that word on this blog I thought I’d share it with you). Anyway, what’s going up and down is Helsinki’s temperature.

Here was the sun trying to come out a few days ago.

When this blog was dreamt up it never, ever would have occurred to me that so much of it would be about weather.

Two very snowy winters, with a hot summer sandwiched between them, have given us plenty to comment on with variously successful efforts at connecting the weather up to the built environment. And of course it’s connected.

Builders, ignore weather and climate at your peril! Trial and error, some learning and a bit of human imagination, one hopes, helped produce thick walls to keep out heat or cold. Finland has plenty of threshold spaces to help make the passage from one extreme to another like Italy has arcades to create shade and so on and so forth.

Today the mercury dipped to well below -10 degrees and we had lovely sunshine that made even newly erected lift-shafts look faintly attractive. (Actually I have a bit of a liking for them, sculptures that remind us of what’s in a building.) I thought here in Jätkäsaari, the former docks, there was going to be an urban area of maximum 7-story residential buildings. I am finding it difficult to get information on what these shafts will serve. A Marriot hotel? No, says an FAQ sheet from a recent public discussion evening? Anyone?

What I had so far not come across in Finland, however, was this (below). Though in a life spent in institutional and other buildings in Britain I am used to the idea that some things might need extra warming.

P.S. this is from the newly opened, well, almost opened Jätkäsaari Information Point. The venue as a whole was quite well heated and generally promising, and not at all like British institutional building – guess they just hadn’t got around to fixing the loo-roll-holder.


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