Kalevala Kehto

Awards: 2011 AIA Award of Merit D.C. Chapter

Publications: Metrapolis, November 2010.

This is a design build project completed for Spirit of Place/ Spirit of Design in conjunction with Travis Price Architects. It is located in Helsinki, Finland on Seurasaari Island. This was supposedly the place where Vainamoinen, the main character of the Finish Legend of the Kalevala, left this world on a boat. (Gandalf’s character from Lord of the Rings is based on Vainamoinen). The concept of Vainamoinen leaving the world from this site is the basis for designing a ship for this project.

The Sampo, represented with the stainless steel roof in this project, was described as a very shiny and fiery object which everyone in the Legend of the Kalevala sought. Although the structure resembles a ship it is not intended to be used as one. Rather this space is to be used as a peaceful place for reflecting, meditating or small meetings. Kalevalakehto, which we named this project, literally means cradle of the Kalevala.