World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki Pavilion offers open programme for 105 days

24. aprill, 2012

wdc_helsinki_pavilionThe World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 Pavilion opening in the centre of Helsinki for the summer months will be a meeting place open to everyone. Together with the surrounding Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture it will form the heart of the WDC Helsinki 2012 for the summer months. The Pavilion is a facility open to everyone, where you can see and experience what the world design capital year is all about. It is where a better city is developed together.

The wooden pavilion designed by a group of Aalto University Wood Studio students and specialists represents architecture of a new era and top know-how of Finnish wood construction. The Pavilion is implemented jointly by Aalto University, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Design Museum, UPM, and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

The Pavilion will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 12 May–16 September 2012, from 11 am to 9 pm, with the exception of Midsummer, when it will be closed for three days. It offers free of charge programme and recreation for everyone during the 105 days it will be open. The programme has been co-ordinated by the think tank Demos Helsinki. The programme will be complemented by the versatile exhibition offering of the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture, which will offer an overview of Finnish design and the city built by the water.

A café serving locally grown summer food will also operate in the Pavilion, as well as a reading corner inviting visitors to browse topical publications and treasures of the archives. A push cart shop will offer WDC Helsinki 2012 products for gifts, souvenirs, or presents.


The opening weekend of the pavilion on 12-13 May will celebrate not only the Pavilion, but also mothers: Mother’s Day surprises will be prepared in origami workshops for the whole family. The designers of the Pavilion will be there to present the architecture, and the residents will make the Pavilion their own by finishing the details together.

The basic programme of the Pavilion is based on a weekly timetable: on Tuesdays and Thursdays we will act and actualize, on Wednesdays listen and discuss, on Fridays we will relax after work in Pavilion Fridays, and at weekends we will relax. In day time the offering is complemented by a lunch programme, and on Sundays we will enjoy movie nights. There will also be a special programme built around different themes.

A EUR 10 combination ticket covering the entrance to both the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture can also be bought at the Pavilion during the summer months.


Pavilion Tuesdays and Thursdays will be filled with workshops and action. There will be altogether 36 days of doing together, when, for example, textiles will be recycled, and architecture will become familiar. For example, the Venetian lace workshop will take rags into new use, and Wastelands workshops run by a Glasgow based creative agency will introduce architecture.


There will be altogether 17 days dedicated to discussions. Amongst them there will be four OK Talk events, where wild actors, institutions of culture, and city decision-makers will meet. HEL/LO – Let’s Talk is a four-part series of events of Finland’s London institute and British design and architecture publication Blueprint, one of which will be implemented at the Pavilion. The Helsinki and London debate will discuss the openness of the cities, active doers and directions where design can be taken. The Shorelines discussion series of the Museum of Finnish Architecture will examine the marine dimension of the capital region from several perspectives.


The Pavilion will offer relaxing after work on Fridays starting at 4 pm. On the World Industrial Design Day, 29 June, design will be approached together with Teolliset muotoilijat ry. The international culture scene of Arkadia Bookshop will move to the Pavilion for four nights: there will be interesting and welcoming discussions, after which music will take over the stage. On Fridays, we will take a closer look into design assisted by designers and design agencies, for example, in the Moikka & Moi night by Kokoro & moi and Ornamo’s Designer’s address events.


Altogether 36 weekend days will be spent at the Pavilion during the summer. The Relax theme will gather together various events, for example, different design markets. Spring trip to Turku will present Turku culture and design, Design District Market the offering of Helsinki design quarters. Arts Exposed! will bring to the Pavilion products and output of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture students and alumni. Trash Design Weekend will host a weekend during which unexpected things will be built of recycled materials, and Dream it real! A City Center Library will ask the visitors to express their opinion of the new city centre library.


The 105 days will also have room for a special programme built around different themes. Up By Droog marches Renny Ramakers from Amsterdam into the Pavilion. He will introduce his new project which is based on recycling products. The British organisation Clear Village will bring their empowering design methods which aim at developing cities into the Pavilion, and examine, for example, what the Pavilion programme tells about Helsinki. The Design Round Table gathers a hundred design experts into the Pavilion to ponder how international design co-operation is built.


The everyday life of the programme takes place every day from 11 am to 9 pm, also at lunch time. The lunch programme covers different activities from reading clubs to arts and crafts and yoga. On Sunday nights there is an opportunity to watch movies, for example, movie nights hosted by Docpoint, Rakkautta ja Anarkiaa Festival, and Espoo Cine.

The last Pavilion weekend will be spent in September as the conclusion of the Helsinki design weeks. In addition to reminiscing the bygone summer and looking into the future, the weekend programme will include an auction of the Pavilion furniture and dishes.


The Pavilion architecture is based on the design of student Pyry-Pekka Kantonen, who won the contest organised for the Pavilion design in spring 2011. The design which was the result of the co-operation of an Aalto University group of students and specialists has refined into the Pavilion, which enables the organisation of many kinds of functions and events. The sunny building allows the visitor to enjoy the best parts of summer. The area of the covered part of the building is 470 m2.

Planks and boards almost twice the length of Mannerheimintie street will be used for the Pavilion, in all about ten kilometres. Plywood and glue board equal to the size of half a football field will be used, and the roof forming a graphic pattern will weigh the same as the recently crashed Mars probe, 13 tons.
The Pavilion café run by Compagnie Mat will serve clean flavours of the best raw materials of the season – responsibly and honouring the nature. In the backyard of the Pavilion there is a small kitchen garden, and wild herbs will be collected from the nature.

Every day, the grill will serve fresh sausage, halloumi cheese, or fish. In addition, one can taste hummus, carrot, and home-made cheese, or the seaside town’s Baltic herring, summer potatoes and chives. As a drink one can choose a coffee and rhubarb, lemon, or currant juice. Weather allowing, you can ask for a packed lunch for a picnic. The café has a licence to dispense all alcoholic beverages.

The Pavilion is the focus point of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 summer activities and it offers a programme open to everyone from Tuesday to Sunday between 12 May–16 September 2012. The Pavilion is implemented by World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, Aalto University, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Design Museum, and UPM. The programme is co-ordinated by Demos Helsinki. The Pavilion is located in Helsinki between the Design Museum and Museum of Finnish Architecture at Ullanlinnankatu 2-4.