An excursion into Pihlajamäki
In a photographic book about Pihlajamäki, stories told by residents guide the reader to everyday life in the suburbs of Helsinki. The book, which is called A Place with a View – Recollections of Pihlajamäki and published by Helsinki City Museum, and an exhibition compiled on its basis are part of the programme of Helsinki’s World Design Capital year.
In A Place with a View, Helsinki City Museum turns its gaze at the suburbs of Helsinki – precisely the place where ordinary people lead ordinary lives. Pihlajamäki, which turns 50 this year, is an example of an area that has been touched up close by a discussion about suburbs with negative undertones. The perspective of its residents, on the other hand, has often remained hidden. That is not the case this time as the residents’ own experience is the main subject in A Place with a View.
The Pihlajamäki suburb was built in the early 1960s as one of the first suburban entities where new prefabricated building techniques produced affordable quality construction near nature areas. The architecturally important area is protected in the town plan and has been appointed a nationally significant cultural environment.
The book, which is based on editor Kristiina Markkanen’s interviews and Lidia Tirri’s photographs, allows the residents to describe their everyday lives and homes behind the modern facades. Markkanen and Tirri wanted to find out what the residents of Pihlajamäki thought about their neighbourhood, which has aroused a lot of discussion.
The photographs in the book lead to spacious and well-lit homes where people obviously enjoy living, and the residents’ interviews open up a new perspective on architecture and urban planning. Professor Kirsi Saarikangas has written an article in the book about the places of memory in a suburban space. The texts in the book are in Finnish and English.
Exhibition in Pihlajamäki and Viikki and at Sederholm House
The book’s photographs and texts will be compiled into a photographic exhibition parts of which will be displayed at the Pihlajamäki shopping centre in February and at Viikki library in March–April. The entire exhibition will be on display at Sederholm House as of May. Then, even an accidental tourist can get to see how design surrounds the residents of Helsinki outside the city centre, too.
A Place with a View – Recollections of Pihlajamäki
At the Pihlajamäki shopping centre from 4 to 26 February 2012, Wed–Thu 1–8 pm, Sat–Sun 11 am–5 pm.
At Viikki library from 8 March to 18 April 2012, Mon–Thu 9 am–8 pm, Fri 9 am–6 pm, Sat 10 am–4 pm.
At Sederholm House, Aleksanterinkatu 18, from 12 May to 26 August 2012, Wed–Sun 11 am–5 pm, Thu 11 am–7 pm.
Kristiina Markkanen and Lidia Tirri: A Place with a View – Recollections of Pihlajamäki. Helsinki City Museum 2011. 128 pages, bound. ISBN 978-952-272-101-3. Price €28 (incl. VAT).
The price is €28 (incl. VAT). The book is available for sale at the Museum Shop, Sofiankatu 4.