Kiasma art museum, Helsinki

Kiasma art museum, Helsinki, originally uploaded by Brin d’Acier.

This building by Stephen Holl manages to be too big and cramped at the same time. Not only does it look like a Zeppelin hangar from almost all sides, the inside has surprisingly little actual hanging space. This is because a third of the floor space and the full height of the building is taken by the lobby and an oversized ramp. See video here:

My next drawing of this square will include the tents of Occupy Helsinki. It was too cold to draw outside so I had to seek refuge in a café. Yes, the occupiers have been there all winter – at -25C and 50cm of snow.

This was my first field test of Neocolor II crayons. Here they are combined with Supracolor II pencils.


2 thoughts on “Kiasma art museum, Helsinki

  1. I really like this building – though the exhibitions are rarely much good and though the Sanoma building (which itself is also far too big) is far too close to it. But you make Kiasma look particularly good. Looking forward to the one with the occupiers.
    By the way, Kiasma sometimes looks stunning in the evening sun (summer) if you have your back to the Kamppi shopping centre (which is the best posture to take in that spot).

  2. I’m very disappointed by the way the area is being developed – they seem to be just dropping glass buildings here and there with no overall vision. It’s really a shame considering that it’s at the heart of Helsinki. – sigh – I miss the old brick hangars, so run-down but full of life. They should have been left standing and incorporated into something multi-functional.

    I agree that the Kiasma building has many impressive qualities, it’s just in the wrong place; It would need much more space and trees around it, maybe a bit of sea to reflect it… In fact it should be where the Opera now is.

    And as I say, Kiasma is not really functional – unless the function is to walk down that ramp with a champagne glass in your hand, greeting people. And the café terasse is one of the best in town for catching some rays and looking at kids skateboarding (We need spaces for that too of course – but how about getting some interesting art on those walls?). Maybe the mcG franchise will show us how it’s done…

    In that it’s the complete opposite of the Opera house, which is very functional on the inside but from the outside looks like a water purification plant.

    Haven’t made up my mind yet about the Musiikkitalo’s functionality, but from the outside it looks like a corporate office. Or if you look at it from the Aurora Karamzin house side, like the backside of a supermarket. All that’s missing is a big neon logo.

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