The author and visual artist Tove Jansson (1914–2001) created most of her works in this small atelier. It is located in a corner tower of a 1920s apartment block in central Helsinki. Jansson rented the atelier in 1944 and purchased it four years later, after publishing her first Moomin books.
In the early 1960s, Jansson commissioned architect Reima Pietilä to modernise the atelier. They knew each other through graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä (1917–2009), who was Reima’s sister and Tove’s partner. Tuulikki Pietilä lived in her own apartment on the opposite side of the building’s attic. Tuulikki and Tove used the attic to move from an apartment to another.
The eclectic interior was replaced with white walls, timber claddings and fixed furniture designed by Reima Pietilä. Particularly the wooden gallery stairs and the railings are typical for his architecture. Later, Pietilä designed also smaller renovations. Today the atelier is owned by Moomin Characters Ltd, and it is possible to visit only on rare occasions. While Tove Jansson lived in the atelier during the winter time, she spent her summers with Tuulikki Pietilä in Klovharu island, where they built a small cabin in 1964. It was designed by Reima Pietilä’s wife, architect Raili Pietilä.
Text: Kristo Vesikansa