Top highlights of Helsinki architecture

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Modernism, functionalism and the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Northern Europe make Helsinki a major city of architecture.

 

Helsinki architecture boasts of intricate and multifaceted designs. The architectural sights extend from Alvar Aalto's distinctive blend of modernist refinement, indigenous materials, and personal expression in form and detail to Art Nouveau architecture. The Art Noveau abundantly present in the capital, opens the door to the world of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, with details such as intricate trees, flowers and forest creatures. Many of the architectural details, the windows, stairwells and doors, are beyond comparison in their beauty.

With all its fairy tale qualities, Art Nouveau in Finland assumed an even more political role compared to other countries in the way it strengthened the national identity. Helsinki’s secret is that the city is like the whole of Finland in miniature, compressed at the end of a single peninsula. This city encompasses the wooden houses of Käpylä, the stone houses of Töölö, the glass office buildings of Ruoholahti and the fields of Viikki. Every neighbourhood in Helsinki exudes a part of the city's architectural personality. 

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Explore architecture in these Helsinki neighbourhoods
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