Leading Museums, Museum Leaders


The new museum consists of five historical buildings, connected by new constructions. Photo: Marja Väänänen, Courtesy of Helsinki City Museum. Source: The Art Newspaper.

Anny Shaw, Helsinki embraces museum building ‘boom’, The Art Newspaper, 17 May 2016

City Museum is the latest institution to get an upgrade in the Finnish capital, but will the Guggenheim follow?

Helsinki is experiencing a boom in museum building. The Helsinki City Museum, which reopened its doors to 2,500 visitors on 12 May, is the latest cultural initiative aimed at attracting more tourists to the Finnish capital. “Helsinki has realised that culture affects tourism, the economy and the whole well-being of a city,” says Tiina Merisalo, the director of the museum.

Half a block of the oldest part of Helsinki has been joined together to create the new Helsinki City Museum, which consists of several immersive spaces designed by the interior design firm Kakadu Oy. Each space transports you back to a different period over the past century: a 1980s themed meeting room comes complete with authentic wallpaper, a black leather couch and a retro exercise bike; a 1930s schoolroom is filled with wooden desks; and Grandma’s house is a carbon copy of a 1970s abode. Visit on the weekend and you will even find a real-life granny in residence there.

Meanwhile, a virtual reality time machine, produced in collaboration with the Finnish software company Futurice, whisks visitors on a journey through the history of Helsinki via the museum’s collection of photographs.

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