UNBUILT HELSINKI
(5.12.2012 - 24.2.2013)



UNBUILT HELSINKI is a model room inside the Museum of Finnish Architecture, an alternative cityscape depicted in minute details. The mise en Abyme experienced by the visitor — like a dreamer in ‘Inception’ — is the opportunity to look through the soul of the city.
 
In the hands of skilful craftsmen, the unrealised proposals, excavated from the archives of the Museum, become tangible possibilities. Beyond each their own architectural premises, the ‘models’ here stand for devices capable of triggering a city wide conversation.
 
Over the past 2 years, UNBUILT HELSINKI, has brought together the stakeholders of each project. Around the models, they envisioned and materialised the alternative present that a different past allowed them to construct. Their voices are whispering, chatting and shouting from the unbuilt city. As a ‘Breath of Life’ blowing through the city, the visions of its inhabitants appear today in new forms.

Like scientists studying the genetic pool of the Icelandic population, UNBUILT HELSINKI is engaged with the Finnish architectural community and its legacy, to unravel the universal narrative of a city in the making.

The unbuilt city includes:
The railway station, the church, the architecture university, the contemporary art museum, the department store, the alcohol factory, the hotdog stand, the parliament, the city highway, the radio tower and the bank of Finland.

The makers of the unbuilt city are:
The concrete association, the bronze foundry, the glass factory, the stone cutting factory and the neon workshop.
 
The stakeholders of the unbuilt city are:
The commuters, the conductors, the buskers, the science-fiction readers, the church parish, the choir, the students, the teachers, the spectators, the artists, the curators, the engineers, the mathematicians, the editors, the customers, the archivists, the shopkeepers, the bear researchers, the bicycle makers, the beekeepers, the architects, the captains, the glass blowers, the apprentices, the masters, the journalists, the speakers, the decision designers, the decision makers, the musicians, the chefs, the dancers, the politicians, the Russians, the drivers, the pedestrians, the audience and the collectors.

The voices of the unbuilt city are:
A science-fiction novel, a concert, a lesson, a competition entry, an art exhibition, a window display, a cocktail, a boat trip, a lunch, a public sculpture, a radio show and a new currency.

– Åbäke & Nene Tsuboi

 
UNBUILT HELSINKI is curated by Åbäke & Nene Tsuboi
It is a research studio and a model workshop established inside the Museum of Finnish Architecture in the summer of 2011, with 10 researchers and a studio manager Willem Heeffer.
 
The exhibition about the Unbuilt City and its inhabitants is curated by Åbäke & Nene Tsuboi and produced by Willem Heeffer.
 
 


UNBUILT HELSINKI sign
—Crown for the Kingdom of Finland (1918) / Helsinki Underground Mole Logo / Aulis Blomstedt 'Canon 60' modular
—Hubble captures view of “Mystic Mountain” © ESA/Hubble
UNBUILT HELSINKI landscape
—Unbuilt railway station by Sigurd Frosterus, 1904 (Concrete cast model by Yuko Ozawa with BETONI, 2012)
—Celestial Composition photographed by Hubble © ESA/Hubble
UNBUILT HELSINKI portrait
—Unbuilt Contemporary Art Museum by Kazuo Shinohara, 1993 (Bronze model by Leonard Ma with Taidevalimo Kärkkäinen, 2012) exhibited at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.
—Star formation photographed by Hubble © ESA/Hubble
UNBUILT HELSINKI
—Achim Hatzius