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The Helsinki Biennial Pavilion - the entry point to the Helsinki Biennial art festival. As a wooden “vessel” it enters a dialogue with the ships nearby and provides a public open-air urban living room space. Photograph: Pyry Kantonen

Helsinki Biennial Pavilion

Firm Location, Finland
Project locationHelsinki, Finland
CompanyVerstas Architects
Lead ArchitectJussi Palva / V. Nikkilä, R. Palva, I. Salminen
Design TeamPyry Kantonen, Otto Autio, Mikko Rossi, Ulpu Kojo
ClientThe City of Helsinki / Urban Environment Division

The Helsinki Biennial Pavilion, located at the South Harbour of Helsinki, serves as the entry point to the Helsinki Biennial art festival that is held on the nearby Vallisaari island. The ferry to Vallisaari departs from a pier adjoining the pavilion. Accessible all year round, the pavilion provides a public open-air urban living room space where one can pause and enjoy the presence of the sea in the heart of the city. The shape of the wooden pavilion was inspired by the ponds and giant’s kettles of Vallisaari island. The Pavilion brings a taste of Vallisaari nature to the South Harbour.