Kasarmikatu 24
Helsinki FIN-00130


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The Museum of Finnish Architecture collects original drawings by Finnish architects. Its collection currently comprises roughly half a million items, mostly dating from the 20th century.

As the collection has been assembled with an eye to highlighting various phases of the design process, it also contains a large number of unrealized designs, competition proposals and undergraduate projects. These “discarded dreams” are often of greater interest to the historian than many plans that did reach fruition. Unadulterated by client-requested modifications or budget-driven corner cutting, these “virgin” drawings penned by the architect often best distill the essence of the original idea. A single drawing can convey a wealth of information about the ideals of its time or show, in embryonic form, the salient features of future architecture.

The projects featured in the exhibition include three designs by Eliel Saarinen: Palace of the League of Nations, plans for the Chicago Tribune Tower and Kalevala House, town halls by Herman Gesellius, Eliel Saarinen, Usko Nyström, Vilho Penttilä and Sigurd Frosterus, private residences by Valter Jung, Emil Fabritius, Sigurd Frosterus, Jarl Eklund and W. G. Palmqvist and cultural edifices by Väinö Vähäkallio, Hilding Ekelund and P. E. Blomstedt.
This brilliantly illustrated wall calendar features drawings of Finnish architecture from the museum’s collection that never progressed beyond the drawing board, including Eliel Saarinen’s 1908 scheme for Parliament House, which he planned to locate in the Helsinki district of Tähtitorninmäki. All proceeds from the sale of this visually immaculate designer calendar will go towards supporting the museum’s work.
Price: €50.00.
Available from the MFA shop, tel. 09 8567 5100,

All of this year’s events at the MFA celebrate Helsinki’s year as WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL 2012.


The fundamental task of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, one of Finland's national museums, is to collect and distribute knowledge about architecture and increase its understanding among the general public as well as experts. It is an information centre for topical architectural practice, research and critique, oriented toward the future even as it records history. The museum builds a bridge between architecture and its users, and on the other hand it is a link in the interaction of professionals. It focusses on post-1900 architecture.

The museum, established in 1956, has large collections of drawings and photographs, a number of models and an extensive library. It organises exhibitions in Finland and abroad, publishes books and arranges lectures. The picture collections are in charge of the Architecture Archive, the oldest unit, whose beginnings are in the photographic collection of the Finnish Association of Architects founded in 1949.

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