Amos Rex – a splashy opening
Amos Rex is an art museum where the past, present and future meet. It’s a new private art museum with unique architecture and exhibitions.
Reverberating rumblings from deep under Lasipalatsi has pushed up the skylights cum children’s playground in the courtyard behind it and finally swung open its doors to the public to see what all the fuss is about.
And what an opening it’s been – no less than artist collective teamLab from Japan for this one. The 500-member strong group consisting of programmers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, graphic designers and writers have been working round the clock to create an immersive interactive experience for both adults and children. The theme is Massless with strong inferences to the Baltic Sea and the many lakes and nature of Finland. It’s a combination of colour, movement, sound and surprise and guarantees to hold the attention irrespective of age.
Colours and beauty
The various spaces take you from swirling waters to a brightly coloured tropical scene complete with lizards to waterfalls running the wrong way up and finally the orchestral climax contrasting with the tiny little bird, a fledgling spreading its wings for the first time in rapid flight.
In juxtaposition to this wild fantasy ride is the collection of Sigurd Frosterus. the architect of Stockmann’s Department Store and lover of art. The Modernist paintings are his personal selections and date back to the first half of the 20th Century. They are beautifully displayed in what is known as The Gallery in keeping with the philosophy of Amos Rex where old stands next to new stands next to ancient.
Legendary Bio Rex
Preserving the history of this building, the decision was made to keep the cinema Bio Rex as a venue for films of course but also for events and presentations of various kinds. It’s been carefully restored to its former glory in 1936, the year of completion.
Shop and enjoy
For a bit of retail therapy, Iittala, one of the icons of Finnish design, has opened a shop in the same premises where exquisite glassware, ceramics and Hackmann cutlery can be purchased.
Food and beverage establishments are never far from places like these catering to every taste and fancy. One of the newer ones is Dekki with its bar, grill and disco. Since it’s a deck, as its name suggests, it’s only open when the weather is clement, hence next spring again. For a real Finnish experience in a fine restaurant, the choice has to be Restaurant Lasipalatsi. Famous for its blinis, it also has a café and bar where lighter dishes are served.
Amos Rex is an architectural space to behold and will join the annals of Finnish architecture as one of its triumphs. Merging art, urban culture and experimentation together into an area to be utilised by everyone, is yet another concept in this safe but edgy city that is transforming itself into one of the happiest places to be.