Juminkeko Information Centre for the Kalevala and Karelian Culture
In 1991 Mikko Heikkinen and Markku Komonen won a competition for the design of a European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark. In addition to university-level education, this college, which operates on a full-board basis, offers continuing education for professionals in the film world. Half the students come from Denmark, half from elsewhere in Europe. The site is a heath landscape shaped by the ice age in the immediate vicinity of the centre of Ebeltoft. The building is part of a rugged landscape that opens toward the sea and the town. The campus complex comprises a long main building, a curved students’ hall of residence with 52 rooms and three residences for teaching staff, sited asymmetrically on the slope of the valley. The architects wished to leave the handsomely undulating valley untouched. The main building, which contains a cinema, studios, workshops, classrooms, administrative spaces and a restaurant, lies at the end of the valley. The central space of the building is a two-storey, glass-walled restaurant which is traversed by a bridge running from one end to the other. The long building mass divides the campus area into two parts. The scale on the south side is intimate. The static nature of the pure white facade is interrupted by three protruding building components. The curving student residence closes the courtyard. On the north side, the façade is clad in zinc-surfaced steel plates. Entry to the main building takes place along a bridge which runs along with the building mass. An information board for the entrance gable, an outdoor cinema and a fourth teacher’s residence remained unbuilt for financial reasons. The use of bridges as an element to link spaces, which is typical of Heikkinen and Komonen, and the skilful siting of the building in the landscape, emerge as the main themes of the campus design at Ebeltoft.
Text: Juhana Lahti / 20th Century Architecture, MFA