Arabia. The word has exotic sound, it is reminiscent of coffee, spices and the flying carpets. Arabia in Helsinki on the contrary is the old porcelain factory which is surrounded by a new, modern residential area. The name of the area is already found in documents dated back to the 18th century whereas the Arabia factory was founded not until the year 1871.
The characteristic of the area is the design, art, as well as the sea and closeness to nature. Many Finnish designers have worked at the Arabia factory, and their influence is reflected in the name of streets and parks, and works of art.
The modern buildings of Arabia have been built on the principle of art, where 1-2% of construction costs have been dedicated for art. In the Arabia region, the works of art reflect the history, nature and the unique tradition of Finnish design.
Children’s absolute favorite of works of art in the region is “The Oasis”. Three large concrete lions are resting under an orange lamp. This soothing and stimulating work is designed by Ann Sundholm, and it is completed in 2006.
A residential block, known as “Gaudi-house” has been awarded the 2011 Concrete Structure. Concrete wall is decorated with mosaic patterns made of the Arabia factory waste porcelain, among others Moomin cup fragments.
Tapio Wirkkala -park is a combination of different works of art. The park consists of nine room-like space and variety of works of art. The park was completed in the fall of 2012, and designed by Robert Wilson.
Top of the stairs of Arabia factory building is an observation deck with a view of the sea and the promenade. An interesting artwork called pavilion “Rihla” is disposed on the deck. The pavilion is designed and implemented by Tiina Rytkönen and the Working Group in 2007.
Arabia factory and wooden houses built around it are forming a unique example of industrial design history close to the city center. The factory is the center of a residential area, landmark, vibrant workplace, gathering place for shopping and the studio of artists.