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  5. Travis Price
  6. 2010
  7. The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala / Travis Price

The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala / Travis Price

  • 01:00 - 25 September, 2010
The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala / Travis Price
The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala / Travis Price, © Travis Price
© Travis Price

© Travis Price © Travis Price © Travis Price © Travis Price +17

From the architect. Led by American architect and professor, Travis Price, FAIA, the Kalevalakehto / Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala project was the result of an international exchange among Finnish and American students of architecture, from the Catholic University of America in Washington, and Aalto University in Helsinki. It was designed during a 9-day intensive charette held at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, DC in January 2010, and constructed in Helsinki by the students over 9 days in late August 2010. The design of the installation is inspired by the themes of the Finnish epic Kalevala: the myth of the 7 eggs of the world’s creation, the mysteries of the Sampo as a metaphor for creativity and innovation, and the shape-shifting shamanic character of Väinämöinen, the main character of the Kalevala. Located on Seurasaari, an island near the city center which serves as a nature reserve, and open-air museum of historic wood architecture, the installation will function as a “think tank,” a meeting place for reflection and creative dialogue.

The materials for the project echo the poetic metaphors for the design, and are comprised of Finnish wood, stainless steel, and glass, donated by Finnish building material suppliers. Outokumpu contributed the highly polished stainless steel for the roof, ceiling, and structural columns. Kuhmo Wood contributed the wood for the curved walls; sustainably harvested from forests in northeastern Finland, where the Kalevala poems originated. Woodpolis, a public-private venture to develop new wood technologies and training, provided the prefabrication of wood components. Fenestra donated the glass for the windows, walls, and doors. The project was also supported by the City of Helsinki’s Economic Development and Public Works departments, and the Finnish Cultural Foundation among others.

© Travis Price
© Travis Price

The project is the latest chapter in a design-build expedition program known as Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design (SPSD), which for 15 years has led architecture students to create meaningful monuments that echo and celebrate cultural lyrics of a place by means of modern design. The program, founded by Price at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, has so far designed and built projects around the world from the mountains of Machu Picchu to the rugged west coast of Ireland and to the sacred sites of Nepal.

© Travis Price
© Travis Price

The goal of the Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design program is to explore the design and construction of architectural forms that successfully respond to natural and cultural settings in a contemporary language of design. Environmental stewardship and cultural heritage preservation in distant landscapes guides the methodology of research and design. The program’s overriding objective is to foster a method for design education that engages the most deeply resonant qualities of culture and the specificity of place. The program was the recipient of a 2010 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Design and Practice in the Academy.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala / Travis Price" 25 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/78880/the-shamans-haven-of-the-kalevala/>
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33 Comments

Manu · November 18, 2011

It's in Seurasaari island, Helsinki. Beautiful with snow and frozen sea!

may · July 10, 2011

Yes to derive concept it is possible to study literature, poetry or any form of art. However, for technical details, we were always told to look at precedents. common architecture practice I thought.

hmm · April 22, 2011

and how can you not look at precedents! isn't that key to any design process?

Josh Mings · April 22, 2011 07:38 AM

The Kalevala itself is a precedent. You can use literature to inform design. For further reading on the importance of the Kalevala to the region read Nightlands by Christian Norberg-Schulz.

hmm · April 22, 2011

they spent 274,000$ for the project! How?

rob · January 18, 2011

never seen a pointed egg, just pointed aspen leaves

Amy · October 04, 2010

Zumthor’s chapel was derived from an aspen leaf, and this project was based off of an egg.

Albeit similar in shape… the concepts appear to be quite different. I guess the saying is true: great minds do think alike.

Sounds like someone is a tad jealous that their work isn’t featured on Arch Daily… but that’s just me.

Clearly if this wasn’t a worthy project, it wouldn’t be featured on this site.

Kudos to the Catholic University + Aalto University students who worked hard to design and build this project.

Amy · October 04, 2010

Zumthor's chapel was derived from an aspen leaf, and this project was based off of an egg.

Albeit similar in shape... the concepts appear to be quite different. I guess it's true, great minds think alike.

Sounds like someone is a jealous that their work isn't featured on Arch Daily... but that's just me.

Clearly if this wasn't a worthy project, it wouldn't be featured on this site.

Kudos to the Catholic University + Aalto University students who worked hard to design and build this project.

jed_ · October 04, 2010

i totally understand that it's a very rare thing that is truly original but this is a pretty straight rip off of zumthor's building, there's no denying it.

"We didn’t look at any precedents."

well everyone involved in architecture knows zumthor's St. Benedict Chapel. it's not a case of not seeking precendents.

luciana · September 28, 2010

Amazing how the ceiling brings to it this brilliant "liquid" surface, and the reflections of the outside gets you involved in such a deep complexity of colors and shapes.
Stunning...love it.

Toivo Vuorinen · September 27, 2010

RT @heini_u: Jeij Finnish design! The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/d5msY7

gerson · September 26, 2010

Between legend and digital world' I could not find the shamans place in the bright light of the binaric materials and place.
Aesthetic-yes in the right place-possible but too cold and clean and by those far from the legend fragments
And MarkM said it all
gerson

Heini · September 26, 2010

Jeij Finnish design! The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/d5msY7

joe · September 26, 2010

MarkM way to minimize the work of a group of people, with a short sighted statement. bravo

Helsinki Vip · September 26, 2010

The Shaman&#39s Haven of the Kalevala | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/aHwdUD

mintleaf · September 26, 2010

You'd be hard pressed to find any architecture, art, film, music, etc. that hasn't been thought of before at some point.

Curved walls and a clerestory are not exclusive to Zumthor.

I think this project is very cool. Kudos.

mintleaf · September 25, 2010

You'd be hard pressed to find any architecture, art, film, music, etc. that hasn't intuitively been thought of at some point in time.

Curved walls and a clerestory are not exclusive to Zumthor's work.

I think this is a bad-ass project. Kudos.

Nina · September 25, 2010

I worked on this project. And yes, it is a coincidence. It was derived from several conceptual models. We didn't look at any precedents.

Piti Prapas · September 25, 2010

The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala | ArchDaily http://t.co/6BVnFoN via @archdaily

rainsea · September 25, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala http://archdai.ly/aBzF4Y #architecture

csipcsirip · September 25, 2010

SPRITUAL ARCH - The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala | ArchDaily http://t.co/1KcsJNf via @archdaily

Bader A Sharif · September 25, 2010

RT @archdaily: The Shaman’s Haven of the Kalevala http://archdai.ly/aBzF4Y #architecture

Dustin · September 25, 2010

I agree, MarkM. It seems strange that a project that looks eerily similar to St. Benedict’s Chapel makes no mention of it. It can't be just a coincidence.

arhitectura · September 25, 2010

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Orgone Design · September 25, 2010

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Architecture+Molding · September 25, 2010

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Architekt R V Scholz · September 25, 2010

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GR2TF · September 25, 2010

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Vincent B. · September 25, 2010

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Fidear Morina · September 25, 2010

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DEZIGN · September 25, 2010

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Bocetos Digitales · September 25, 2010

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æon · September 25, 2010

goes nice with the landscape

MarkM · September 25, 2010

I liked it better the first time, you know, when Zumthor did it.

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