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Mikkeli Landmarks 1912



    LANDMARKS 1912

  • SiSllyS

    A stroke of luck And A

    cAtAstrophy 4

    Moderni suunnittelijA Arkkitehti seliM A. lindqvist 4

    Mikkelin kAupungintAlo - skotlAntilAisen jA itvAltA- lAisen Art nouveAun jljill 5

    tersbetonin lyriikkAA nAisvuoren torni 20

    kAuppAhAlli 22

    sAtAMApAviljonki 24

    kAuppAneuvos jA lninArkkitehti 28

    grAniittitAlostA tAideMuseo 28

    lhteet 31


    foreWord 3

    A stroke of luck And A cAtAstrophy 4

    Architect seliM A. lindqvist A Modern designer (1867-1939) 4

    Mikkelis city hAll - in seArch for scottish And AustriAn Art nouveAu 5

    poetry in reinforced concreter nAisvuori toWer 20

    MArket hAll 22

    hArbour pAvillion 25

    titulAr coMMerciAl counsellor And county Architect 28

    froM grAnite house to Art MuseuM 28


    the city of Mikkeli was awarded the living city centre of finland prize for 2012. A

    hundred years ago the city was experiencing a practically similar period of active

    development. the city environment was being improved and new commercial buildings

    erected. this booklet introduces a few buildings that have become significant for

    Mikkeli over the past century. they tell a story of Mikkelis history and its present-day

    life, an interpretation of how Mikkeli became Mikkeli.

    A hundred years ago Mikkeli was a beehive of

    construction activity: a water distribution system

    and the naisvuori water tower were completed

    in 1911-12, timber-built vending stalls that had

    served since the city was founded in 1838 were

    replaced by a new market hall and the city got its first

    real city hall. Around the same time businessmen

    built stately stone houses. one of them is now the

    Mikkeli Art Museum.

    Mikkelis century-old city hall stands on the south side of the market square surrounded

    by lindens and oak trees, slightly hidden as it were. two sets of buildings are always

    mentioned in connection with Mikkelis beautiful market square: the state provincial

    office designed by C.l. Engel and, on the north side of the square, the symbols of

    the whole city, two gatehouses flanked by 1940s functionalistic buildings. the Art

    nouveau city hall is often forgotten. it is high time to give the citys own hall a voice

    of its own.

    i wish you a very enjoyable read in the company of our hundred-year-olds.

    KimmO miKaNDERMAyor

  • a STROKE OF luCK aND a


    the city of Mikkeli met with a stroke of luck in 1910

    if you can call the situation in the grand duchy

    of finland during the second era of russification

    lucky. An impressive barracks complex for the 6th

    sharpshooter battalion had been erected outside

    the city centre some thirty years earlier. A national

    conscript army, small and insufficient to defend the

    country as it was, had raised nationalistic spirits.

    the joy was short-lived though. the grand duchy

    of finland and the russian empire reached a

    compromise in 1901 as the finns were unwilling

    to let their young men join the imperial army the

    old army was disbanded and replaced by a

    russian detachment, the 5th finnish sharpshooter


    the city of Mikkeli had given the area for the old

    army barracks to the government free of charge

    to use for as long as need be. A national army

    unit yielded tax income to the city but the new

    residents did not pay up so the city began to

    demand compensation for the barrack area. in

    1910 the governor decided that the area was to be

    regarded as expropriated and the city was paid

    346,750 marks, the equivalent of four years tax

    income. the compensation was paid from finnish

    government funds.

    the most part of the the sum was put into a fund

    for the construction of the city hall and a water

    distribution system and a smaller sum into a suburb

    fund for future land purchases. the following two

    years saw unprecedented constructional growth

    in Mikkeli the city obtained a water distribution

    network and waterworks, a city hall, a market hall

    and a harbour pavilion.

    the year of the stroke of luck was also a year of a

    catastrophy a huge city fire. the fire spread from

    shopkeeper halttunens kitchen and eventually

    burnt down a whole quarter below the church

    stairs. the smoke could be seen as far as ristiina

    and juva. one of the buildings destroyed by the fire

    was a wooden house owned by titular commercial

    counsellor David pulkkinen. it was replaced in 1913

    by a handsome Art nouveau castle.

    aRChiTECT SElim a. liNDqviST

    a mODERN DESigNER (1867-1939)

    Architect Selim a. lindqvist from helsinki was

    in charge of Mikkelis great construction rush. he

    came from a modest background, his father was a

    sergeant major and his mother had a bakery shop.

    lindqvist studied architechture at the polytechnic

    institute 1884-88. After his studies the young

    architect opened a studio his own in helsinki.

    lindqvist was a hard-working, productive architect

    with an ability to adapt artistic design to the

    character and site of the project at hand as well as

    the construction solutions chosen. contemporary

    evaluations described his work as elegant, stylish

    and practical. his designs were exceptionally

    good examples of the architectural tastes and

    techniques of his own time. one of the most

    significant influences on lindqvists philosophy and

    production was a study trip to italy via germany,

    Austria and hungary. After the excursion he spent

    a year working with an architectural firm in berlin.






  • from early on selim A. lindqvist harboured an

    interest in everything new in the field of building

    techniques. contrary to the national romanticism

    of the turn of the century his architechture

    represented the rationalistic school right from

    the beginning. he was the first to implement

    many new techniques in finland: a horizontal

    concrete slab supported by concrete beams, iron

    rod in concrete reinforcement, asphalt felt on top

    of concrete as waterproofing, composition floors

    and refuse chutes in residential buildings. julius

    tallberg and the city of helsinki were some of his

    biggest employers. he designed mainly industrial

    and commercial buildings for them. new technical

    inventions were often first used in these types of


    lindqvist designed several commercial buildings

    for helsinkis growing centre. one of them was

    Aleksanterinkatu 13 still known as department

    store Aleksi 13 - finlands first building constructed

    solely for commercial purposes.

    miKKEliS CiTy hall - iN SEaRCh



    the construction of a city hall appeared on the city

    councils agenda for the first time in 1886. A design

    was commissioned from architect Werner poln

    and the decision to build was made three years

    later. however, the plan was never carried out as

    an independent city parish and building a church

    for it were prioritized. the city hall was again back

    on the agenda some twenty years later.

    A building lot for the city hall had been reserved

    and waiting by the market place ever since the

    founding of the city. A city council meeting decided

    in january 1910 that the future hall should house

    the magistrates office and city court, treasury,

    bailiff, councillors, library and reading room, health

    care and poor relief administration, custom house

    and two porters flats. Whether there would still be

    room for the Mikkelin sstpankki savings bank

    and an assembly hall seating five hundred people

    was to be looked into.

    Mikkelis city hall designed by lindqvist was

    completed in 1912. the general lay-out of the


  • building was symmetrical and it was adapted to the

    empire buildings in its vicinity while its detailing

    was reminiscent of scottish and Austrian Art

    nouveau. the early 20th century style had several

    names: people talked about national romanticism,

    jugend, Art nouveau. Mikkelis city hall became

    a complete work of art as selim A. lindqvist also

    designed its decor and movable furnishings. the

    furniture was manufactured by huonekalutehdas

    evert invenius of tampere and the chandaliers by

    taidetakomo koru, all to the designs of lindqvist.

    the helsinki-based taidetakomo koru

    manufactured all sorts of arts and crafts forge

    items, such as light fixtures for private and public

    spaces. the company had its own designers but

    they also made products to the commissioners

    designs. Around the same time as the lamps for

    the Mikkeli city hall they also produced the light

    fixtures for the stock exchange, kaivohuone and

    theatre Maxim.






  • 11









  • 11




    the first meeting of city council in the new building was held in october 1912.

    the photograph is from the centennial celebration gathering in spring 1938. MMA

  • the plans to find room for the savings bank and

    an assembly hall were abandoned and in the end

    the building housed the city administration, library,

    city court and magistrates office. the library was

    located on the east wing ground floor towards the

    market place while the custom houses three rooms

    and a porters flat faced the courtyard. the west

    wing housed the offices for the bailiff, city treasury

    and cashier as well as construction office and

    vaccination room where the mayors office now is.

    upstairs were the council hall, smoking and service

    room and facilities for the magistrates office and

    the city court. What is today the city boards

    meeting room was then the court chambers and

    opposite them were the rooms for the detained,

    lawyers and court clerks and a waiting room. there

    was another, bigger porters flat behind the council

    chambers. the basement had two large archives

    rooms, several storage rooms for firewood and a

    boiler room.

    the building was damaged in winter war bombings

    in 1940. the roof and attick with their insulations

    burned, practically all the windows and interior and

    exterior paint coats and floors suffered. some of

    the inner and outer plastering was destroyed by

    fire and shrapnel. explosions and heat also caused

    brick walls to crack, reinforced concrete ceilings to

    collapse and damaged the central heating system.

    While the winter war was still going on a new roof

    was built and windows were covered with planks.

    the city hall obtained its present facade in 1947

    when the attick floor was turned into offices and

    work spaces to the plans of Eero Jokilehto, Mikkelis

    first city architect. changes were also made inside

    the building. the library was extended through the

    entire east wing except for the porters flat.

    the mayors office found its present location in the

    west wing and the registry office, chief secretary

    and typists worked next door. the wing also housed

    the city engineer and building engineers as well as

    the treasury facing the courtyard. the city councils

    service room on the first floor was turned into a

    meeting room for the city board. the magistrates

    office and the city court stayed put on the first

    floor of the west wing. five offices were built on

    the second floor facade side and a drawing and

    mapping studio for the city architect, city geodetist

    and cartographers found a place in the west wing.

    the porters flat in the first floors southeast corner

    was turned into the construction office in 1954. At

    the same time a wider staircase was designed for

    the second floor and the building inspectors former

    office was turned into a photocopying room. three

    years later city architect martti Riihel changed the

    councils chambers by enlarging the gallery, cutting

    off the facades gallery doors at the height of forty

    centimetres and installed a threshold containing

    a radiator, etc. the ceilings acoustics were also


  • the city halls facade saw its most recent alterations

    in 1976-77. they were initiated by the construction

    of a new library building next door. the greatest

    change was the elevation of the courtyard side to

    its third and present height. offices could now be

    built into the yard side attick space. the outer walls

    were painted corn-ear yellow and the rest in

    lily white. compared with older colour schemes

    the amount of yellow surface increased and the

    contrast between white decorations and the walls

    became more prominent. the alterations were

    designed by hilkka vattulainen, city architect at

    the time.

    the interior of the city hall got its present-day (2012)

    form in connection with these alterations. the east

    wing library was replaced by offices: the deputy

    mayor for technology and his secretary faced the

    market square and the planning department staff

    faced the courtyard.







  • the magistrates office and the city court moved to

    the granite house and so the city hall was in the sole

    use of the city. the former court chambers were

    turned into a space for the city board. the room

    next to the council chambers was reserved for the

    various boards. the council foyer with its cloakroom

    and spiral staircase got its present form. the rest of

    the first floor was dedicated to the city geodetist

    and surveying

    department. the

    second floor was

    taken over by the

    city architect and his

    staff: city planning,

    traffic and building

    design, all had

    their own offices.

    the basement was

    taken into use as

    well: in addition

    to the archives it

    now housed the


    surveying departments photographing facilities

    and a staff refectory with kitchen.

    As far as space goes a new era began for the city

    administration in 1986 when a new office building

    was constructed behind the city hall on the same

    block. An architectural competition was arranged

    and it was won by hannele Storgrds. the new

    building had an effect on the lay-out of the old

    halls basement. the photocopying and refectory

    spaces became meeting rooms for council groups.

    over the past twenty years Mikkeli city hall has

    only seen minor changes. Activities have come

    and gone and some

    new space solutions

    have come up, but

    the citys central

    administration, the

    city council and

    the city board have

    always had their

    premises at the city


    the city hall exhibits

    several works

    from the citys art

    collection. the

    council chambers are dominated by portraits

    of council chairmen by Emil Rautala while the

    city boards meeting room boasts views of 19th

    century Mikkeli by Johan Knutson and Thorsten







  • victoria berg (1824-92) spent summers in puntala, ristiina, where her sister lived with her

    finnish nationalist husband, circuit judge karl ferdinand forsstrm. Ms. berg was one of the

    first finnish women artists to have a long career. Maisema (landscape) from 1881 depicts a

    mountain view from italy.

    MkM/timo kilpelinen

  • Thorsten Waenerbergs Maisema

    Mikkelist (A view from Mikkeli)

    from 1873 shows a small town with

    the state provincial office, hospital

    and prison buildings. the pink

    kenkvero vicarage can be seen to

    the left. the painting is a donation

    by hanna and mrtha hllstrm.

    MkM/timo kilpelinen

  • headmaster, city councillor martti Rafael Jauhiainen chaired the city

    council in 1929-45, 1948-56 and 1960-64. emil rautalas painting is

    from 1941.







    NaiSvuORi TOWER

    the high naisvuori hill originally stood on the

    outskirts but by the early 20th century it had

    become a green belt within the growing city.

    instead of residential houses public buildings

    typical of city centres were erected around it. A

    building to house the Mikkelin telefooniyhdistys

    telephone company was completed in Mikonkatu

    in 1903 right next to naisvuori and the Mikkelin

    tyvenyhdistys workers association had already

    bought a hill-side villa in 1900 for its headquarters.

    At the beginning of the 20th century finnish cities

    were busy building water distribution systems to

    meet the needs of the growing cities. that became

    actual in Mikkeli at the turn of the century. since

    1900 the profits of alcohol sales were transferred

    into a base fund for the waterworks. the actual

    planning commenced in autumn 1908. the

    necessary ground-water inventory took two years

    and in the autumn of 1910 the council commissioned

    a plan for the waterworks from engineer a. Skog.

    the same council meeting decided to commission

    a water tower for naisvuori from selim A. lindqvist,

    the architect who was designing the city hall at

    the time. A pavilion-cum-fire lookout tower would

    have to be demolished to make room for the new

    water tower. the pavilion was not just part of the

    outlook tower but also a place for the locals to relax

    built with funds donated by doctor R. Salingren. it

    was therefore decided that water towers ground

    floor should have a restaurant.

    the design for the water tower was approved in

    february 1911 and construction work began in july

    the same year. lindqvists design showed none

    of the references to Mediaeval towers so popular

    at the time. you might just detect some hints of

    the architechture of Austrian Otto Wagner in

    lindqvists completely modern form language.

    the water tower in reinforced concrete was

    constructed by viipurin sementtivalimo oy under

    the leadership of engineer taavi siltanen. the tower

    was 29,4 metres high and the water tank held






  • 300,000 liters of water. the top of the tower stands

    about 64 metres above the level of lake saimaa.

    the tower top housed an electrically operated

    alarm siren and signal lights that indicated in which

    part of town there was a fire.

    the old pavilion was torn down in winter 1912.

    All reusable building material was shipped to

    lamposaari were a new pavilion was erected to

    designs by lindqvist and city engineer lennart von

    Fieandt. this rhyme documents the event:

    Where pekka pietilinen used to fish

    now stands old naisvuori pavilion like a niche.

    during the second world war the top of the tower

    was removed and replaced by air surveillance

    facilities. the tower top got its present profile in

    1946 when eero jokilehto designed a new roof to

    cover the formerly open-air lookout terrace. the

    naisvuori tower remained a point of interest and a

    tourist sight in the early 1950s when a new water

    tower was built on kirjala hill. the glazing of the

    lower terrace of naisvuori tower in 1969 greatly

    improved the restaurant services. naisvuori tower

    is one of the most photographed spots in Mikkeli

    and a symbol for the whole city.


  • maRKET hall

    timber-built market stalls and plank-construction

    shops built later on kauppamiehenkuja

    (tradesmans alley) on the block between

    hallitustori and kirkkotori squares were the first

    commercial buildings in Mikkeli. the area grew

    into kauppatori, Market square, later to be called

    pikkutori, little Market. in 1898 the public health

    board suggested that the plank-constructed stalls

    be demolished as rainwater gathered under them

    and the shopkeepers were forced to stand in

    puddles. this started

    a complicated, ten-

    year-long process

    that ended in the

    inauguration of the

    new Market hall on

    january 2, 1913.

    building committees

    appointed by the

    city council came

    and went and plans

    were drawn up, until

    in 1908 it was decided that the plans should be

    commissioned from a professional man who has

    drawn them before and who is a specialist in the

    field. selim A. lindqvist was chosen as that

    professional. his designs for hagns Market halls

    in siltasaarenkatu, helsinki, had served as a model

    for the planners in Mikkeli from 1898 on. since then

    he had designed market halls for hietalahdentori

    (1903) and kaartintori (1906) in helsinki and one

    for hanko as well (1909).

    in March 1909 the city council decided to build a

    market hall where the eastern timber stalls stood.

    the decision was appealed and construction work

    was delayed by three years. in january 1912 a

    complete set of plans were commissioned from

    lindqvist they now included an end part with

    facilities for four shops. the basic plan with its

    24 shops was kept as it was but some changes

    were made to the facade either for local financial

    reasons or because lindqvists production was

    moving increasingly

    towards the more

    rationalistic Wiener


    in 1929 a drapers shop

    and new end shops

    were added to the

    Mikkeli market halls, i.e,

    Mikkelis future symbols,

    the two gatehouses

    we re e re c ted .

    lindqvists market hall

    was destroyed in the winter war, only the end part

    survived. A temporary market hall was soon built.

    it served until 2011 when Mikkelis third market

    hall was opened on pikkutori in connection with

    shopping centre stella the same spot where it

    had been planned ever since 1898.






  • haRbOuR pavilliON

    the thrust to develop the city also

    included harbour services boat

    traffic had increased and it was

    time to do something about the

    harbour. A harbour committee to

    plan for order and cleanness in

    the city harbour was appointed in

    summer 1911. in March the following

    year it presented a plan to demolish

    the harbours four vending stands

    because they disturb the beauty of

    the harbour and cannot satisfy the

    comfort of the public waiting for the

    boats and enjoying refreshments.

    the committee suggested that

    a new pavilion be built to house

    the harbour masters office, a

    restauranteurs room and an

    open waiting and serving area.

    yet again selim A. lindqvist was

    commissioned to do the designing.

    the committee had ordered a

    sketch design from him earlier. the

    decision to build was made and the

    pavilion was completed by the start

    of the 1912 navigation season.

    the pavilions restaurant activities

    were leased out. fresh hot waffles

    with strawberry jam and whipped

    cream have been a part of Mikkelis

    cultural heritage on naisvuori and

    in the harbour pavilion for the past

    hundred years.






  • TiTulaR COmmERCial COuNSEllOR

    aND COuNTy aRChiTECT

    there was also a lot of private construction going on

    in Mikkeli in the early years of the 20th century. one

    of the periods most prominent figures was titular

    commercial counsellor David pulkkinen (1851-

    1925). born a craftsmans son pulkkinen worked

    in a local shop until he was able to set up shop on

    his own in the 1870s. soon he went into shipping

    and wholesale. in the 1890s he branched into brick-

    making in paukkula the Mikkeli cathedral is built

    of paukkula bricks - , a tobacco factory and a

    brewery producing spirits and beer, Mikkelin viina-

    ja juomatehdas. pulkkinens ships exported butter

    and hides and imported grain and flour.

    A flour mill in saksalankatu handled the imported

    grain. in 1911-13 david pulkkinen had two large

    stone houses built at either end of hallituskatu. the

    first to be completed in 1911 was a stone building in

    the corner of hallituskatu and porrassalmenkatu. it

    housed the bank of finland, rob. hubers plumbing

    business and the Mikkeli county architects office,

    i.e. architect armas Rankkas private studio.

    Armas rankka (1878-1953) worked as Mikkelis

    county architect in 1911-24. he had completed his

    architectural studies at the helsinki polytechnic

    institute in 1905. After his years in Mikkeli he

    went on to head the provincial building office for

    uusimaa province. his production in Mikkeli was

    characterized by national romanticism and neo-

    classicism, both visible in his residential buildings

    as well.

    FROm gRaNiTE hOuSE TO aRT


    When a large-scale city fire had burnt down titular

    commercial counsellor pulkkinens wooden house

    in the corner of hallituskatu and ristimenkatu in

    August 1910 he commissioned the plans for a new

    residential and commercial building from Armas

    rankka. the building to be known as the granite

    house was built in 1912-13. the citys post office

    had its premises on the ground floor of the wing

    facing hallituskatu. the building also had three

    large flats: two upstairs and one in the wing facing

    ristimenkatu. the basement sported a small flat,

    coffee shop, bakery, firewood storage and coach


    the house was damaged in the winter war

    bombings and its present-day look dates back

    to those years. during the continuation war the

    commander-in-chief, Marshal Mannerheim lived in

    the house in doctor dahlstrms flat.

    Mikkeli Art Museum opened as the Johannes

    haapasalo Museum in 1970. it was renamed as

    Mikkeli Art Museum in 1976 when the museum was

    donated the art collection of teacher martti airio.






  • photo: MkM/harri heinonen

  • the space now known as the

    Airio basic collection was added

    to the museum at that time. the

    magistrates office and city court

    moved into the building that year.

    the Art Museum was appointed

    south savo regional Art Museum

    in 1981. in 1995 the museum took

    over the whole building as Mikkeli

    district court moved into a state

    office block. in addition to the

    exhibition rooms the building now

    also houses the museum office and

    staff offices.

    finnish teacher Martti Airio (1890-

    1973) was a collector whose

    interests lay in finnish pictorial

    art, the septem and november

    artist groups, antique furniture

    and oriental carpets. Mr. Airio

    bequeathed his collection to the

    city of Mikkeli because he wanted a

    representative collection of finnish

    art exhibited outside the capital

    region. As the city received the

    collection they promised to exhibit

    the Martti Airio collection intact.

    sculptor johannes haapasalo

    (1880-1965) was born in rantakyl,

    Mikkeli, studied and worked

    elsewhere in finland and retired to

    his home town. he is best known for

    his public sculptures, particularly

    war memorials. he donated all the

    pieces he had in his possession to

    the city of Mikkeli in MkM/harri heinonen


    city Archives of Mikkeli, Mikkelin kaupungin vuosikertomukset 1910-12.

    Museum of finnish Architecture,

    enqvist, petri, kauppahalli Mikkelin kauppahallisuunnitelmia. exhibition at suur-savo Museum

    2009. gyllenberg, petra, tuoksuja ja tunnelmia, kauppahallit suomessa. jyvskyl 2007.

    kuujo, erkki, entisajan Mikkeli. Mikkelin kaupungin vaiheita 1938-1917. jyvskyl1989.

    kuujo, erkki vnnen, kysti lakio, Matti hassinen, esa, Muuttuvaa Mikkeli. Mikkelin

    kaupungin historia ii 1918-1986. pieksmki 1988.

    finnish national bibliography

    teXt: piA puntAnen

    photos And postcArds: Mikkeli MuseuMs (MkM) i the provinciAl Archives of Mikkeli (MMA)

    i ArchitecturAl MuseuM (AM) i reijo tiusAnens And pekkA pitknens collections i other

    photos: kiMMo iso-tuisku And ilpo AAlto i lAyout: AAlto oy i printing: teroprint oy






    Environmentally certified print product, 441 582, Teroprint Oy Mikkeli