Whenever travelling to any city, I always first check out if there are any architecturally interesting locations worth to visit. Even I grew up in the surroundings of Helsinki, I still have a long list of places to visit for any time I’m in the city. This time I was smart enough to contact well advance the National Pensions Institute to book a visit in their headquarters. As the Alvar Aalto designed building is still in daily use, it is possible to visit only on mondays, when they organize guided tours.
I arrived well in advance so I got to wander around in the lobby by myself, which was my favorite part of the building. The black and white floor made from marble and belgian granite is so elegant and unique, and great combination with the signature ceramic tile -wall.
FIAC is always one of the highlights of my year. I love discovering all my favorite galleries from around the world, all gathered in Grand Palais for a weekend showing their best art pieces. During the event there are also many pieces exhibited around Paris with the concept of #FIAChorslesmurs – FIAC outside the walls – for which the selection this year was particularly great! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to see Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin at Place Vendôme as it had to be taken down due to strong wind, however I was extremely excited to visit Jean Prouvé’s demountable houses at Place de la Concorde exhibited by Galerie Patrick Seguin and Galerie Downtown, with all the gorgeous furniture of course.
Painted Apartment, Krueck & Sexton
While planning a photoshoot I got carried away by researching retro glass block interiors and architecture. I’m obsessed!
Fundació Joan Miró
This hidden museum was an absolute favorite in Barcelona. Not only I adore the works of Miró, but the huge modern building and calm courtyard terrace got us to stay here for hours.
Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe
The Barcelona Pavilion was the first thing I wanted to see at Barcelona. As everyone maybe knows, I’m a huge fan of Mies van der Rohe and it’s always a dream come true to get to experience beautiful architecture on the spot. I wish I could’ve been able to capture the light as it was inside, reflecting from the light marble and transforming through the blue glass windows. So beautiful.
Le Cube by Scott Oster
One of the best shopping destinations in Paris is definitely Le Bon Marché. It is the first department store in the world, and the art deco -architecture is just fascinating. As it is located on the left bank, quite far from any tourist destinations, it is often very calm with only local Parisians strolling around. I personally love all the art and design furniture here and there in the department store, and also currently there is a gorgeous art installation, Le Cube, imagined by Scott Oster, as a part of an ongoing campaign.
Finally I was able to visit the Communist Party’s headquarters in Paris. It might sound a bit bizarre Saturday activity, but the gorgeous building, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, has been on my must see -list for a long time. This weekend the whole Europe is celebrating European Heritage Days by opening many important offices and government buildings for public. If you are currently in Paris, I highly suggest to visit this one today.
After a while, marble seems very appealing to me, especially in large spaces and items creating a heavy look.
Galerie Yves Gastou – Facade designed by Ettore Sottsass
Modern architecture is not the first thing that comes in mind when thinking about Paris and it’s Haussmann buildings. However, there are couple of gems worth visiting.
Maison Louis Carré, designed by Finnish Alvar Aalto is located 45 minutes outside of Paris and open for visitors every weekend. French art dealer Louis Carré was first considering Le Corbusier to design his new home but was not so convinced by his “colder” style such as use of beton.
Maison La Roche, designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. It was designed for a Swiss banker and art collector Raoul La Roche.