House of Music and Kansalaistori Square, Helsinki
The Helsinki House of Music (Helsingin Musiikkitalo), opened on August 31, 2011, has a long and very scandalous history. The construction initiative was born in 1992 at the Sibelius Academy, which attracted funding from the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the broadcasting company Yleisradio Oy and the Helsinki City Government. The total amount of funds allocated by them amounted to about 200 million euros. In 1994, a project competition was held, which was won by the architectural company LPR-Arkkitehdit. Famous Japanese engineer Yasuhisa Toyota was invited to study the acoustics of the hall. Throughout the construction, the project was sharply attacked by the public, the public did not like that government money was spent on elite art, others believed that the not too refined glass and concrete box of the House of Music would look out of place next to the Parliament building, and defenders of the historical Center joined the protests. heritage-under the construction site were customs warehouses built in 1899. Before the 2000 municipal elections, about 7,000 people held a rally in their defense, forming a human chain around the warehouses. At the height of the controversy, in 2006, the warehouses miraculously burned down and the building was completed on time. The Helsinki House of Music has several halls of different capacities and each designed for its own genre-folk music, chamber music, jazz, a hall for musical experiments, an organ hall with 4 organs of different sizes. The large hall can accommodate 1,700 spectators. Students of the Sibelius Academy also study here.
The area between the House of Music and the Museum of Modern Art was cleared of the remains of old warehouses and lawns and paths were built in their place, naming the new public space Kansalaistori Square.
The square is fenced off from the railway tracks of the Central Station by a complex of office buildings, in front of which the Central Library (Helsingin keskustakirjasto Oodi) is being built.
The Singing Pike monument (Laulupuut) appeared on the square in 2012.
The sculpture, which is 13 meters high, is made of aluminum and steel by artist Reyo Hukkasen.
The southern part of the square is occupied by the Santomalo commercial center, built in 1999 by Jan Söderlund and Antti-Matti Siikal. All the walls of the building, including the internal ones, are made of glass. Unfortunately, due to lack of time, it was not possible to look at the stunning interiors of this "glass house".
The ultra-modern complex of the square is completed by the Kiasma Museum of Modern Art, opened in the spring of 1998. The museum's collections contain about 4 thousand exhibits of contemporary art. The exposition of the main collection is updated annually, temporary exhibitions are changed every 3 months. It is the most visited museum in Finland. The museum is open from 10 to 23 hours from Wednesday to Friday, on Tuesdays and weekends from 10 to 17.