Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Winterizing Helsinki

When winter comes to Helsinki (does it ever leave?), you'd better be ready. A person can add a layer, bundle up and put on boots, but what about the poor buildings?

A typical doorway (photo taken about midnight in June). What's that lump on the bottom step?

Hello brush. Hello major, heavy duty, wipe-the-winter-apocalypse-off-your-boots brush. They're everywhere in Helsinki, a regular down and dirty doorman.

Some brushes look like a lonely puppy, waiting patiently to come in.

Maybe balance the brush out with a little flora? Hey, what's up with the down spouts? Who threw trash down them?

Nobody did. Wire didn't wash down from the roof, it was placed in the pipe on purpose. The wires are heated, to act like a defroster so the spouts don't burst from ice buildup. You take one look at this set-up and think, "I don't want to be in Helsinki in the winter, they mean business."

If the pipes and brushes don't force away winter, leave it to these machines.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Kamppi Chapel, Helsinki

Have metro fatigue? Need to find a little solace in the sea of shopping in Helsinki? The Social Services Department and the Helsinki Parish Union understand your need and have commissioned a fantastic space to help you out.

Like a calming spaceship that landed in 2012, the Kamppi Chapel sits serenely by itself in a plaza just outside one of Helsinki's busiest shopping malls. It's Lutheran by affiliation, but no organized services presently take place there. The chapel is open daily and free for anyone to come inside to get a little reflection time.

Who doesn't want to climb inside this beautiful wooden womb?

Views of the unassuming interior space.

Time to gather your thoughts in a calm environment.

More details, looks at the gentle curves and the clever use of light from the ceiling. Let the sun in.

There are cushions for those more inclined to recline. The Kamppi Chapel welcomes everyone and all ages.