QUITE JAPANESE – YET SO FINNISH: KAIJA + HEIKKI SIREN
Studio, Museum of Finnish Architecture
The Finnish architect couple Kaija Siren (1920–2001) and Heikki Siren (1918–2013) designed and realised several projects for Japan, a country much admired by numerous Finnish architects. The extensive collection of articles on the Sirens’ architecture published in August 1965 in Kindai Kenchiku, a Japanese magazine specialised in modern architecture, provided the initial impetus in furthering their relationship with Japan, leading to a warm understanding between the Sirens and the Japanese public. For the Sirens, Japanese architecture meant the same as the Sirens’ architecture meant for the Japanese: simple and beautiful architecture that takes its environment into account and skilfully combines interior and exterior spaces. Over the next six decades, the Sirens’ work continued to be featured in Japanese architecture magazines.
The Museum of Finnish Architecture’s Studio exhibition examines Kaija and Heikki Siren’s long-term relationship with Japan. The exhibition features the Sirens’ wooden architecture in both Finland and Japan. In addition to Kaija and Heikki Siren, Japanese architecture experts also have a say in the exhibition.
The Museum of Architecture, together with the Espoo City Museum KAMU, is celebrating the centenary anniversary of Kaija Siren’s birth. KAMU’s special exhibition Everything and Nothing – Architects Kaija + Heikki Siren, which opens in Espoo at the same time as the studio exhibition, is the first exhibition in Finland to comprehensively present the Sirens’ architecture. The exhibition will run from 23.10.2020–9.1.2022.