Thursday, 3 March 2011

4th issue: Merihaka - beauty comes inside


From the central helsinki...

By foot 15 minutes
By tram 10 minutes (3B, 6, 9, 1A)
By metro 5 minutes (hop off at Hakaniemi, take Hakaniemi Tori exit)

Merihaka is underestimated neghbourhood, just next to the Hakaniemi market area (Hakaniemen tori). Only one bridge separates Merihaka from Hakaniemi. 

Why against?

Usually people don't like Merihaka because it's ugly and reminds people of Soviet Union. It's gray buildings are depressing.  I have to admit that the architecture is not that suitable comparing for other apartment buildings, but at the same time Merihaka's architecture is expressing the time they were built.

But many people don't know how nice Merihaka is - if you live there. Ok, Helsinki is flat so we don't have high buildings. Merihaka has apartment buildings that have even 15 floors.

Merihaka was built between the 70s to the mid-80s. The apartments are big (smallest ones around 30m2 and biggest ones around 55m2). What makes these apartments nice to live is that the walls are so thick that you wont hear a thing from your neighbors. Also one priceless thing is the scenery Merihaka offers: you hake a nice view from Helsinki from the higher apartments. Also some of the apartments have a sea view. As Finland is located to north we don't have light during winters. This is when those flat apartments get super dark. But Merihaka has it: The higher your apartment is, more you get light in!

I lived in Merihaka in year 2009. I was sharing a 52m2 apartment with my friend. Or rent was (only) 700€ and our apartment was on the 10th floor. I still miss this apartment a lot and if I ever had +200 000€ I would buy an apartment from Merihaka. I even gave Merihaka a nickname: Merry haka.


On the top floor there's a sauna and a smoking area. The higher your apartment is, the better the view is. There are 2 elevators, so this makes Merihaka different from Soviet Union, where they didn't have any elevators. And yes, you can find a soviet union map from one point in Merihaka, just as a joke. Heh.

Inspiring place

Finnish movie director Aki Kaurismäki has been using Merihaka in his movies. Mostly his movies are about working class people, and Merihaka was built for working class! So I see a meeting point right there!

This picture is taken from a book about Aki Kaurismäki

Later I will go and take some pictures of Merihaka...

Merihaka from one view from Wikimedia.

HAWT Merihaka!

Ylioppilaslehti wrote about Merihaka in January'11. Because Helsinki is the world design capital of '12, they suggested that Merihaka would be colored PINK. Here's the whole article (only in Finnish).

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