An international group of students has designed and built an installation evoking the Finnish national epic Kalevala, The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala, on the Seurasaari island in Helsinki. The project is the culmination of the Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design architectural and academic programme headed by architect Travis Price at The Catholic University in Washington, DC.
The project - a small pavilion that will function as a meeting place - has been built from stainless steel, wood and glass. Stainless steel forms the roof of the building in the shape of a cracking egg, suggesting the Kalevala story of the creation of the earth. The polished surface of the steel reflects the adjacent sea.
The stainless steel was supplied by Outokumpu. It was prefabricated and handcrafted on site by Turun Pläkkipelti Oy.
Travis Price says that that the stainless steel roof of the building is "floating on the sea." He adds, "Stainless steel is one of the most ecological materials - a living example against throwawayism," pointing out some of the values suggested by the project and its material choices.
Risto Schildt, an Outokumpu specialist in architectural applications of stainless steel, says, "The current project is a prime example of the many possibilities of stainless steel to lend itself for architectural expression. The material is widely used in facades and roofs and other demanding applications in contemporary architecture. The attraction of stainless steel is based on its long life time, mechanical durability, low maintenance requirements and recyclability."
The opening ceremonies of the Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala took place on August 26, 2010. The installation will remain in place through August 2013.
Spirit of Place - Spirit of Design blog: http://www.spiritofplace-design.blogspot.com/