Art Nouveau in Helsinki – Part 3

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During my visit to Helsinki 3 years ago I spent some time seeking out buildings constructed in the Jugendstil style, the Finnish variant of “Art Nouveau”.This wasn’t too difficult as the style was associated with an upsurge in Finnish nationalism at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century and there are plenty of examples in the city centre and the inner districts which were developed during that period.. After that visit I wrote a couple of posts about some of the buildings I’d seen. As I’m particularly interested in this type of architecture I decided to spend some time during my latest visit seeking out some more.

Early Sunday morning I caught the No. 3 tram out to the district of Eira. a wealthy district  which, according to Wikipedia “has some of the most expensive and sought-after old apartments in Helsinki”, many of them built in the Jugendstil style.

Directly opposite the tram stop is the Eira hospital. Wikipedia tells us that the district was named after the hospital rather than vice verca!DSC02565

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The architect was Lars Sonck, who designed a number of notable buildings in Helsinki and other cities in Finland.

Finnish Jugendstil incorporates rustic type elements along with more Modernist type features and this is the case with the hospital. 

So this doorway has a very rustic look

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while the overall look is much more modern with many decorative eatures that were avant-garde for the time it was built

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The building next door was particularly interesting – a fix of “rustic”, mock Medieval and Modernist elements

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as typified with this section – rustic stonework at the bottom, geometric patterns above with a mythical beast in between.

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Just round the corner was this building, similar in style to the hospital

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This apartment bock was on the corner of a whole street of Jugendstil buildings

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Some more examples from the area illustrating that Jugendstil wasn’t a coherent style but was experimental – incorporating many different influences

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One thing I noticed was that many of the buildings included owl motifs in their decorative features

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I couldn’t find out what that was about but it must have some significance.

There are many more Jugenstil buildings throughout Helsinki city centre – these two are directly across the road from the hotel where I’ve been staying. They’re simpler buildings than those at Eira, but have incorporated decorative elements that give them that distinctive look.

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