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Travel: Finland

words and photography Marta Wódz



1. Photo taken during KOE 2014 - it’s an annual fashion show run by the Design Institute's graduates form Lahti. The event always attracts a big audience, so young designers have an opportunity to present their diploma collections to professionals from the fashion industry in Finland. Last year’s edition was organised in a great space of Kattilahalli, Suvilahti in Helsinki, which usually hosts big events like concerts, exhibitions, fashion shows etc.


2. Paimio Sanatorium, designed by famous Finnish architect and designer Aalvar Aalto. After it was completed in 1932 it served as a tuberculosis sanatorium, later converted into a general hospital, which is still working. Despite the stunning design, for me the place is quite creepy – especially if you think about the fact that when it was opened, maybe one-third of the patients could have been cured from tuberculosis. The building is surrounded by forest and I associate the atmosphere there with Thomas Mann’s mysterious Magic Mountain.



3. You say Finland, I think lakes. It’s quite an important thing there. This one is Vesijärvi, which simply means “Water Lake” (the view is from Mukkula Camping in Lahti).


4.  a. St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel
     b. Kamppi Chapel - it’s a small wooden chapel right next to the shopping centre in the busiest area of Helsinki. Very peaceful with beautiful architecture.


5. Horse stable nearby Mikkeli. A wonderful place in the countryside run by an amazing woman - she graduated from art school and is crazy for both horses and art. It was a pleasure visiting her in a beautiful wooden house full of paintings and observing how she works, using natural horsemanship methods.


6. Tunnel under the hill in Lahti. At first it seems to be nothing special, but there are hidden doors inside. Yes, there is an entrance to the Vault carved in stone – it’s a headquarter of Parkour Academy. Children and adults of every age can practice acrobatics there to be able to try it in the city as soon as the winter is over.

7. Olympic stadium in Lahti. It was used during the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952. Sport is still very important for the city - every year, the Lahti Ski Games (an official World Cup competition) are always a big fest. 

8. Harbour in Lahti. Some people would say that it’s the most beautiful place in Lahti, others that it’s the only one. It is almost always bustling with people, even in the winter - when the lake is frozen you can come for ice skating, ski running or snow kiting on ice. There are also two cafes here: one is open only during the summer. The other one you can always find, following the smell of cinnamon – it’s a traditional, wooden house with a very cosy atmosphere and the best pastries in town.

9. a. Finnish design. In Helsinki, there are plenty of shops that offer beautiful products. There are two examples: This is an exposition at Ittala shop at one of the main streets – a very famous,                old brand.
     b. This is a small shop, localisation also not that prestigious. 


10. Finnish Opera House in Helsinki. Great place not only for music lovers, but also for anybody interested in modern dance.


11. Taideinstituutti (Art institute) at Lahti University of Applied Science. Very unique place because of the number of students: there are about 12 in each year. That’s why everybody knows each other and each student has his/her own working space (in lower years, shared with 1 or 2 others).


12. Point Pub, Lahti. Very cosy, nice place to drop in for a beer. Quite common among the exchange students because it’s placed on the way between the city centre and student dorms in Mukkula.


13. Särkänniemi Amusement Park


You can check out more of Marta Wódz's work here: | IG: @martawodz

Posted on September 7, 2015