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Makkaratalo blossoms in spring

Makkaratalo (Finnish for “Sausage Building”) in Helsinki will receive a fresh flowery look to celebrate its 50th anniversary in May. The person behind the new look is designer Eveliina Juuri, who won the competition on adorning Makkaratalo.

The pattern resembles Penrose tiling, and it will beautify the concrete “sausage” of the 50-year-old Makkaratalo. The Makkaratalo flowering jury selected the KITE+DART piece by student Eveliina Juuri as the winner. Juuri’s piece was also the clear winner of the public poll.

Juuri will cover approximately 200 metres of concrete tubing with decorations that must be appropriate for the environment. This will take place in a prime spot in central Helsinki, witnessed by thousands of passers-by every day.

“We will create the pattern from billboard ads. The largest billboards are almost 170 square metres in size, which means I would only need one to cut out all my material. I am not sure yet if I’ll be able to automate part of the work, or if this will be done manually,” Eveliina Juuri sums up.

It sounds like this designer will not have to think how to spend her free time this spring.

Student Eveliina Juuri won the design competition for Makkaratalo by Sponda.

Curtains, paving and other sources of inspiration

Eveliina Juuri studies design at Aalto University. She saw some interesting posters on the wall of the university in early spring: Sponda had launched a design competition on the adornment of Makkaratalo. She was inspired by the materials involved in the challenge. The “sausage” that lines the Makkaratalo building would be decorated using recycled materials, and Juuri had specialised in the use of biomaterials in her studies.

Juuri studied the building from different angles, made sketches and did some thinking. She wanted to create a pattern that was both classic and intriguing.

She was inspired by the curtains of her home, but she placed high demands on herself. She didn’t want the sketch to look too homespun.

Finally, she came up with the winning concept.

“I realised that my sketch was actually pretty similar to the paving on Keskuskatu. I did some background research and noticed that these two patterns were fairly alike. The same pattern is repeated across the whole work.”

Using the reverse of a billboard act seemed like the most natural choice: ads are white on the reverse, and she could cut out 3 x 3 metre modules and hang these on the ledge of Makkaratalo using cable ties and wires.

“The schedule is pretty tight. I have to start hanging the modules by week 20 in May, which means I have to do all the cutting by that time. But this has been an interesting project,” Juuri says.

Kukita Makkara

  • Sponda’s design competition invited art students to design a flowery adornment around the famous “sausage” of Makkaratalo.
  • 17 teams of art students made their instalment plans, and the panel selected Eveliina Juuri’s design as the winner.
  • Juuri’s KITE+DART comprises kite and dart-shaped pieces that are made from recycled materials.
  • The piece will be released to the public on 18 May as part of the Lovely Helsinki festival, and it will be on display right in until the end of August.
  • The winner will receive a prize of EUR 10,000.

Published 18.4.2017