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"The Shaman's Haven of the Kalevala" -

Founded in 1993 by American Architect and educator, Travis Price, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design is an international design-build education with a cultural exchange curriculum. SOP teaches students to design architecture that responds to the poetic specificity of the culture, mythology, and the ecology of place. 

Kalevalakehto was the result of our international exchange between Finnish and American students of design and architecture. We designed Kalevalakehto during a 9-day intensive charette held at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, DC in January 2010, and constructed it in Helsinki over 9 days in late August 2010. 

The design of the installation was inspired by the themes of the Finnish epic Kalevala: the myth of the 7 eggs of the world’s creation, the mysteries of the Sampo as a metaphor for creativity and innovation, and the shape-shifting shamanic character of Väinämöinen, the main character of the Kalevala. Located on Seurasaari, an island near the city center which serves as a nature reserve, and open-air museum of historic wood architecture, the installation functions as a “think tank,” a meeting place for reflection and creative dialogue.

”Swirling air and legs alight... the eggs open, spilling out the mystery of creation... launching windswept vessels transporting the sage song-weaver Väinämöinen... always to be rekindled... recreated in Sampo's fiery light, washed upon shores...”

Spirit of Place 2010

Seurasaari, Finland


Photos by TPA

Travis Price Architects

Aalto University MA Spatial Design Student

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