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The art collection of the Vaasa Central Hospital H Building

Elina Först's painting ""Vistiahon lato Kiiskiseltä". Photo: Sami Pulkkinen.

The so-called Percent for Art Principle was applied in procuring art for the H Building of the Vaasa Central Hospital in order to bring joy to both the hospital’s customers as well as the people who work there. The art found in the H building comprises both works commissioned for the hospital and deposited works. In addition, photographs from the various municipalities of the wellbeing services county can be found printed on different surfaces.

The works of the art project

Objectives of the art project

The following objectives were established for art of the H building in connection with the art programme:

1. Art creates focal points, directs access and helps in orienting and moving around the hospital by creating clearly distinct series.

2. Art is introduced in places where people will stop and wait, sometimes even for long periods of time. The objective is for the art to inspire emotional experiences and provide a variety of perspectives for approaching the environment and life.

3. Art promotes feeling at home for people who must stay at the hospital and in bedrest for longer periods of time, while providing the space an aesthetic and thought-provoking dimension.

4. Art, architecture and high-quality operation of the hospital combine to create an image of a modern hospital that considers the patients, personnel and guests holistically, thus promoting recovery. Art increases the feeling of safety, communicates the high quality of the operations and the appreciation given to all of the hospital’s users.

We have tried to meet these goals with art acquisitions. The backbone of the art of the Vaasa Central Hospital's H building is formed by four commissioned works of art, which are the main work at the entrance Exuvia, an art ensemble of elevator lobbies by three different artists, an ensemble of works located in the outdoor spaces of psychiatry Wood and the works placed in the three waiting rooms selected. In addition to them, art has been deposited in the restaurant and dayrooms as well as in the staff's break rooms From Pekka Lindi's collection of works. In addition to individual works of art, details that facilitate orientation have been brought into the everyday life of the hospital's users with the help of wall murals and photo boards. 

Photos: Sami Pulkkinen

The Ostrobothnian coast as the theme

Thematically, the hospital’s collection of art aligns with the theme of Ostrobothnian coast assigned to the entire hospital in its architectural design. The theme is further divided into the following subthemes: harbour (floors 00 and 0), lagoons (floors 1–3), beach (floors 4–6) and sea (floors 7–8). This theme of the Ostrobothnian coast is present in many of the art works at the hospital.  

From the outset, the objective of the art project was to carry out the artist selection as transparently as possible and give all artists the opportunity to offer their works for the hospital. The open call for portfolios, carried out in early 2021, garnered widespread interest among artists and a total of 225 portfolios were submitted. 

An open call for photographs was also carried out for the photographic wallpapers and prints. Carried out in 2021, the open call obtained a total of nearly 1,000 photographs. A total of 33 photographs were selected, including at least one from every municipality of the joint municipal authority. Some of these photographs were used in photographic wallpapers and some as large prints. In addition, there are nature-themed photographic prints by photographer Tero Makkonen hung on the walls in select locations at the hospital.  

Art project working group

The art work group of Vaasa Central Hospital's H-building and the selection of artists have been responsible for the art work, which includes the chairperson of the art work group Monica Siren-Aura, the technical director of the Ostrobothnia welfare region Ulf Stenbacka, the administrative director Juha Post (until the end of 2021), the design engineer Sanna Ahola and the architect Elina Salakari of Arkkitehdit Kontukoski. Art expertise is represented by Aki Koskinen, a representative of the Vaasa Artists' Association appointed to the art working group, and the project's art coordinator Frei Zimmer Oy and especially Heini Orell, who works as the project's art coordinator. In addition, regarding the selection of the hospital's main work, Sanni Seppo, an artist member nominated by the Society of Finnish Artists, acted as an artistic expert in the project. The hospital's staff have also been given the opportunity to comment on the art coming to the hospital in connection with the preparation of the art program in the form of a survey aimed at the entire staff and through personal presentations aimed at different functional groups. The staff has also been allowed to choose the works that will be in their own break rooms.

Once the hospital opens, its extensive art collection can be admired by the public. 

“I am certain that everyone can find a work to their liking in the H building,” says Ulf Stenbacka, Technical Director for the Vaasa Central Hospital. 

1 review for “Vaasan keskussairaalan H-rakennuksen taidekokonaisuus

  1. Mikko T

    It's nice that you don't have to go to Vaasa to be treated yourself. I am an art lover from Helsinki.

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