If, by now, you’ve noticed that contributor James Bligh’s Instagram travelogues are a bit — how shall we say — architecturally nerdist, it’s on purpose. Also, it’s a Price Tags thing.

Beyond a romantic holiday through European capitals, this trip has been the urbanist equivalent of a fan tour of American baseball stadia, but with the benefit of a willing and supportive spouse (Errin — she’s been starring in many of the videos). James has been hitting some architectural must-sees, and we hope you’ve learned a thing or two.

This Finland bit should be no different. Here we get a quick taste of the Finnish Modernist approach to building design practices by architectural auteurs. In this case, one in particular:

“We were only briefly in Helsinki — most of our visit in Finland was spent traveling to several far-flung buildings designed by legendary Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

Our short time in the capital left me with an impression of a city that had grit, diversity, history, and the familiar pervasiveness of global capitalism. Bordered by former occupiers Russia and Sweden, we wondered, ‘What will the future of Helsinki look like?’

I present an un-Finnished list of urban findings to consider…”

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Urbanist Abroad @j.bligh's Backpacking – Finland: "In Finland we saw many churches that were placed prominently inside of city squares rather than facing the square from a border. Kamppi Chapel, pictured, is standing in the plaza of Helsinki's massive downtown mall and bus depot, Kampin Metroasema. This chapel is operated by Helsinki Parish Union and the Social Services Department of the City of Helsinki, with participation of two neighbouring parishes. While no services are held inside, the parties are available in the chapel for personal discussions. It is a public space that was designed to offer a moment of silence and rest in a very busy area – which we appreciated, evidently along with many others as it was in heavy use."

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