(23.9.2009 - 29.11.2009)

Erik Kråkström (22.9.1919–13.1.2009) had an architect's career spanning over four decades. It started at the time of the boom of Finnish Modernism in the 1950s and continued to the end of the 80s. He also painted and drew all his life and was influential in Finnish cultural life through his numerous positions of trust.

Kråkström set up a private office in 1950. His oeuvre comprises housing, offices and industrial buildings as well as schools, churches and restorations. He also had numerous town planning tasks. Among his remarkable industrial buildings are those that were built between 1955 and 1991 for the Kaukas Company in Lauritsala, Lappeenranta, and Finland's first nuclear power plant, completed in Loviisa in 1977. Kråkström's last restoration task is the Naval Barracks complex in Katajanokka, Helsinki, originally built to Carl Ludvig Engel's designs in 1816–38, which together with a new extension was completed in 1989 and serves as the premises of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 1949 Erik Kråkström, together with Yrjö Lindegren, won the town planning competition for the centre area of Helsinki and after the latter's death in 1952, finished the plan. It served as a partial basis even for Alvar Aalto's later plan for central Helsinki. Kråkström's other town plans include the Lähderanta housing area in Espoo, which he designed in collaboration with Ahti Korhonen in 1961–64.

Through his world-wide acquaintanceship, Erik Kråkström furthered the international networking of Finnish architects. He was keenly interested in professional policies and was chairman of the Finnish Association of Architects in the 1960s. He also held several memberships and chairmanships in various national and municipal committees dealing with architecture and art.

Kråkström's designs have been displayed in several touring exhibitions of Finnish architecture and they have been published in architectural magazines in Finland and abroad. He received several public honours, lastly the Artium Cultori Medal awarded by the Arts Council of Helsinki Metropolitan Region in 2007.

We thank Anna Paulina Eklöf for collaboration.
The exhibition is produced by the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

See also lectures on Scandinavian architecture.

Erik Kråkström (22.9.1919–13.1.2009).
Photo: MFA
Town Plan for the Centre Area of Helsinki 1954 (together with Yrjö Lindegren).
Photo: Kolimio
Industrial Buildings for the Kaukas Company, Lauritsala, Lappeenranta 1955–91
Photo: Jalmari Aarnio (Erik Kråkström collection / MFA).
Botby Swedish Secondary School, Helsinki 1967.
Photo: Pietinen