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The House of Mrs. Musica

The house of music was eagerly expected, and the press closely followed its completion.

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‘We will finally get the long-awaited Conservatory building in our capital.’

  • Uusi Suomi 20 June 1929

A dedicated building for the Helsinki Conservatory was eagerly expected. The Architect and Architectural Critic Gustaf Strengell called the building The House of Mrs. Musica. The press closely followed its design and construction phases from the very beginning. On 5 March 1929, Iltalehti published an image of the future location of the Conservatory building. The caption describes how ‘the street building department of the City of Helsinki is currently carrying out digging on the Ainonkatu and Eduskuntatalonkatu streets which border the future Conservatory building.’

The upcoming house was already exhibited at the planning stage. On 7 April 1929, Uusi Suomi wrote that ‘according to the wishes of the Conservatory Board, architect Eino Forsman, who drafts the Conservatory building drawings, has changed the floor plan of the concert hall so that 900 seats are placed in the hall, not 700, as was originally planned.’ In the end, there were 805 seats in the hall.

Finally, on 3 November 1929, Helsingin Sanomat reported that ‘the principal drawings of the Helsinki Conservatory’s new building have recently been completed.’

The concert hall and the impressive organ façade dominating the hall.
Passage hall and busts placed there in the 1960s. University of the Arts Helsinki / Sibelius Academy archive. The photographer Volker von Bonin.

The building was taken into use in early September 1931, and teaching began in the new facilities. The new building was given extensive coverage in the newspapers. On 14 September 1931, Helsingin Sanomat presented the new and fabulous home of tunes: ‘The Helsinki Conservatory has finally been able to move under its own roof, to its new house, which has risen along the Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu street. Via the camera of our photographer, our readers have an opportunity to take a look inside this home of the most prestigious music, the inauguration of which will not take place until next spring due to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Conservatory.’

The interest of the press and the general public mainly focused on the public side of the building and, in particular, on the concert hall, but the more everyday aspects of the educational institution also received attention. On 3 November 1929, Uusi Suomi explains how special attention has been paid to the soundproofing of the building. ‘In addition to appropriate placement, the soundproofing between different rooms will also be taken care of by using the latest efficient insulation agents in both partitions and intermediate floors. This soundproofing is perhaps the most important and difficult problem in a building of this type.’

The concert hall and the impressive organ façade dominating the hall. The interest of the press and the general public focused specifically on the concert hall.
The concert hall and the impressive organ façade dominating the hall. The interest of the press and the general public focused specifically on the concert hall. University of the Arts Helsinki / Sibelius Academy archive.

Menneisyyden muistia tulevaisuutta varten

Tässä blogissa Riku Hämäläinen kirjoittaa Taideyliopiston muistitietohankkeen vaiheista. Hankkeen tarkoituksena on kerätä entisten ja nykyisten opettajien, oppilaiden ja muun henkilökunnan muisteluita taideopetuksen historiasta, arjesta, toiminnasta, sattumuksista, jne. tulevaisuuden tutkimuksia varten. Filosofian tohtori, dosentti Riku Hämäläinen toimii Historiafoorumin yliopistotutkijana. Hän johtaa muistitietohanketta, johon kuuluu niin uuden aineiston kerääminen kuin jo olemassa olevan arkistomateriaalin saatavuuden parantaminen.

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