Grey Matter is an exhibition by students of architecture and photography from Aalto University, taking a look at new urban developments in the downtown Helsinki district of Töölönlahti Bay. The exhibition challenges us to consider ways of presenting architecture that fall outside the usual confines of conventional architectural photography. Each site is presented by an artistic interpretation which seeks to represent the specific atmosphere of each place, instead of following photographic conventions.
Grey Matter opens up a distinctly local perspective on architecture, embracing the climate and mood of autumnal Helsinki. The idea behind this exercise was to take a thoughtful look at local conditions as a means of celebrating and branding unique aspects of life in Finland. Finnish architecture draws on variations in the play of light and the shifting moods of the changing seasons. A special sensitivity to the stark palette of autumn and winter is an intrinsic part of the Finnish cultural and psychological mindset.
Three practices involved in designing the new Töölönlahti Bay – JKMM Architects, Helin & Co Architects and Verstas Architects Ltd – provided the students with plans and models to serve as a basis for their work. The project was supervised by Antti Ahlava, Head of the Department of Architecture at Aalto University and Marc Goodwin, Photographer & Doctoral Candidate at Aalto University.
The exhibition is produced by Aalto University's Departments of Architecture and Department of Media, unit for Photography and made possible by a grant from Aalto ARTS.