From Nature to Infrastructure: Vallisaari Island in the Helsinki Archipelago



By the beginning of the twentieth century the island of Vallisaari in the Helsinki archipelago was left bombed, cratered, and barren by the various multi-national militaries of the region. However, with the gradual abandonment of the island, wilderness took over, bringing with it a rich diversity of plants, animal species, and habitats. Today, infrastructural works to support cultural and touristic development, as well as to host an international arts biennial, threaten to change Vallisaari's landscape and ecosystem.

Author Biography

Samir Bhowmik, Aalto University, Finland

Samir Bhowmik is a multi-disciplinary artist, architect, and researcher. He has received a PhD in Art and Design from Aalto University, Finland, and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland, United States. Samir has been recently commissioned for the Helsinki Biennial 2020 to be held on Vallisaari island.

The launch of a weather balloon at the Vallisaari military meteorological station in 1962. According to Enqvist and Eskola, the task of the centre was to train conscripts as well as regular persons in the skills of meteorology.