When touring Eastern Finland, I saw a lot of villages, where the last Hope had taken the last bus and left for good. There were closed grocery stores, closed village schools, closed banks, closed petrol stations, closed everything. By the way, here’s a petrol station.
This village is located some kilometres from the main village of this small municipality. It exsists because of the railroad. It’s even known as the station village. But passenger trains don’t stop here anymore. And the village like everything around it has slowly died.
The problem with these dying villages is, that there’s a lot of architectural heritage, which disappears with them. And I don’t mean that petrol station. I mean the works of architect Erkki Huttunen.
Back in the 1930’s Huttunen was the chief architect of the central union of co-operative stores. He had a very distinct style and as the chief architect provided drawings to the local co-operatives, which built new stores.
The style is now valued, and luckily several of Huttunen’s buildings are protected. It is so distinctive, that whenever I see a Huttunen, I instantly recognize it.
And when I saw this building, I instantly knew it was a Huttunen. And it broke my heart.
This is a definite Huttunen and it’s in an awful condition. It’s not just a lack of paint, chunks of the building are actually missing. Finnish functionalism is unique. And Erkki Huttunen’s works are one very big part of it. They should be treated as pearls, not like this.