Smells Like Teen Spirit Part VIII

Look, I know already, that beginning each post with a shot like this from the stairway doesn’t bring me any new fans. But it gives me structure, ok?

Here’s something only Finns will understand.

I bet the teachers told you not to rock on your chair.

The funny thing was I couldn’t recall seeing a window like that anywhere in the building.

This apartment has a funny name. The local pedestrian street is called Rotuaari. Rotuvaari is a title awarded yearly to someone, who has done an exceptional job in developing the city center.

The poor lonely sock.

If there was any water in the central heating system, when the radiator was ripped off the wall, there must have been quite a leak.

Oh, and the painter has been pretty lazy when putting in the blue finish.

I think a local hotel lost something.

The higher up I got, the more damage there was to the building probably not caused by vandals but the weather.

Another set of rules. In case the girl rules in the previous post weren’t enough.

They should have written rules for this, too. I mean, the beer belongs in the fridge, not on it.

A local newspaper distributed for free. And below it: a whole bunch of instructions in a plastic wrap.

This will be the last TV for now. I promise.

Some whitecurrant-blueberry-raspberry-juice for you? It’s from 2007, which was an especially good year for us.

A magazine with readers’ stories. This one was about the teacher translating a sentence from the pupils a bit wrong making them feel embarassed.

Clocks like these were a very common sight in Finnish public buildings. Actually they still are.

I hope the red stuff there is just a scratch of paint.

Somebody burned something on the stove.

A few more rooms left before the attic. But before that it’s time to grab a beer.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part VII

I really did feel heartly welcome here.

When trying to make up something to write about this photo, I realized, I don’t know how to use things like that. I better learn before the next power outage.

Anybody ever wondered, what’s inside a door? Well, here’s the answer.

Why not have an even closer look.

I was starting to suspect, that this side of the building was completely reserved for girls’ dormitory.

By now I pretty much knew, how the apartments looked like. The excitement was in how they were thrashed and what random things had been left behind in them.

Compared to many of the other ones, this one was a huge mess.

A picture of an abandoned building inside an abandoned building. Wow, this really is something.

They really need to improve their cleaning skills.

A seven-year dust has landed on the floor.

Where did this come from?

Wait, maybe it wasn’t dust after all. Maybe he’s the culprit.

This was my absolute all time favourite in the building. Two walls full of rules for boys on how to treat girls. I won’t translate them, but let’s have a closer look for the Finns anyway.

Part one…

I don’t think I could follow all these rules. There’s no way.

One more floor to go, and then it’s time for the attic.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part VI

All the balconies on the main stairway were boarded up. The reason probably was, that teenagers used fire stairs to climb to them and break inside the building. This far up the windows were no longer broken.

KKK was here?

It says “sold” on the red sheets of paper. Whatever has been sold has been removed.

On this floor everything else was blue except for the tiling in the kitchen which was similar to all other floors.

Does it qualify as vintage?

This one definitely does, as it is older than me. How do I know? Because we had an exactly similar one in my childhood home.

I find him rather creepy.

Everything else seems to be standardized apart from the mirrors.

Although the apartment had been broken into, this floor seemed to have suffered much less violence than the previous ones.

Pippi Longstocking studied here? In Oulu?? Or was it you, Ronald McDonald?

Another innovative way of breaking into an apartment.

Melting snow made the view rather blurry. The funny thing is that the white building on the left is a part of the complex housing the new school for kids with special needs, which replaced the old Lohipato school, which I had explored earlier.

A familiar view already, isn’t it?

The similar blue notebooks found in almost every kitchen are user manuals for the kitchen appliances.

Frozen juice. Yummy!

I really can’t blame the people, who have come here to hang out and drink alcohol. I mean it is cozy, although the air is pretty bad.

A new feature in this apartment: the lamps.

So the gloves have been sold too? Hope they didn’t pay too much.

Finns do love to queue for free buckets. This poor bucket has been abandoned, though. Please don’t take a summer bucket.

Poor plants.

A cold pack has exploded.

So whoever lived in this rotten dormitory could afford a gift pack from the most expensive department store in town? Wow.

Ok, so the show’s been cancelled for tonight. To be continued.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part V

So this is what happens, when you smash the glass above the stove. Hopefully it will never happen to me when cooking something.

Another note forbidding showers after 10pm. And somebody asking, is it a sin.

This toilet has met its fate.

So has this phone.

Here the inhabitants had decorated the walls. And it looks a little like somebody set their decorations on fire.

That’s a pretty scary way to decorate a mirror. Reminds me of Japanese horror films, where wild hair appears everywhere.

Another former tv, I think.

The drawings raise some questions. Were they here before the place was abandoned? If not, did the dormitory manager know about them? And if he did, did he approve?

The final inhabitants left some of their clothes behind.

I hope the mattress was a little less mouldy, when students lived here.

So this was the office of student dormitory plants, I guess.

Just another smashed door.

It takes suprisingly little power to break glass like this. I have my reasons for knowing it.

The collapsed cupboard housed old magazines and music sheets.

Didn’t see this coming. The sheets were to a very old Finnish folk music song.

Somebody took “break a leg” a bit too literally? I think the rest of this body was located in the common room downstairs.

That is not a stove.

The people in this apartment had three frying pans, their neighbours had none. Wonder, who stole them.

They had frying pans but their kitchen cupboards had vanished in return. Overall this place seemed like one, where stuff roamed pretty freely between rooms and apartments. So I wonder, where I’ll find the cupboards. In the attic, maybe?

Or well, half of them were still in place. The jar on the stove is pasta sauce.

The floor plan of the building. And a strange basket with flowers.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part IV

As you can see from the gap, it was completely light outside – and very dark inside.

What? Windows that are still intact? What is this?

Oh dear! The vandals have really failed here.

Oh no, they haven’t. These vandals just practiced for a career in mining industry.

This kitchen had several holes dug in its walls.

The table claims to have been sold. Nobody has picked up their purchase, however.

This apartment had a different mirror! This find actually motivated me to keep going deeper. Maybe I’d find something else than similar apartments, similar furniture and smashed tv:s.

Why does this lost stove remind me of this guy?

Time and moisture have started to take their toll.

A shower has been shut down because of overheating. I believe the last months in this breaking up building with very bad air quality must have been a nightmare.

The school even had printed copies of the Old Testament. The text on the broken pages is from Joshua’s book. Had to google it to find out.

So in a building, where almost everything else is broken, somebody has left a puzzle intact? or did the local youth drink beer and build it after the place was abandoned?

The booklets on the couch are manuals for kitchen appliances.

A second intact tv? Oh my!

A standard feature of the rooms were tiny baskets with plastic flowers. How cozy.

The curtains were about the only thing that was different in each apartment. Wonder, if they were a part of the furniture or brought by the occupants.

Rubber gloves and bolt rings? Now we’re getting weird here.

The cover of one of the smoke detectors beeping inside the abandoned building.

One of the few shots I managed to take in the hallways. This was basically it. An apartment in both ends of it, one in the middle. It wasn’t very innovative.

A leaflet promoting contact information to local libraries. A strange find, as the dormitory was located right next to the school, which was less than a kilometer away from the city’s main library, which isn’t featured here.

Another very informative bulletin on the sorry state of this building.

“Avoid taking a shower after 10 pm during silence, as because of the heating we have to close air conditioning after 11 pm and the showers have to dry.”

Wait a second, what? I’m not an engineer, but I… oh, never mind.

So they seem to have had real plants, too. That one probably is beoynd saving.

THE RIGHT THING TO DO is to switch off the lights ALWAYS when you leave the room.

And also when going to bed. Goodnight, to be continued.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part III

What I really adore about old buildings is their stairways. They have a central role and usually had big windows and nice details. Up we go, then.

As I said in my previous post, this place was full of instructions. Here it says that use of elevator is only allowed given permission by staff.

The former home of cleaners.

The dormitory apartments were named after local places. Pikisaari is an island with quite a history of its own.

The destruction was quite total on this floor. If you’ve ever wondered how a door is built, this is how.

The layout was similar on every floor.

I believe this to have been a tv once.

Another toilet. But wait a second. Doesn’t that look like a bowling pin?

As the temperature had only gone up on my day of exploration, most of the windows were frozen. The atmosphere inside the old dormitory was difficult to describe, but one of the most amazing I have ever experienced. As the snow and ice next to broken windows and doors started to melt, water started dripping on the floors. The heat detectors in the building hadn’t had their batteries replaced in at least seven years, and they tried to warn about low batteries by beeping.

I was alone in the house, and the only noises I could hear in addition to my steps, were slowly dripping lonely droplets and beeps echoing from all over the place. It was like magic.

A collection of sports and travel magazines to kill time with.

Yet another way of destroying a tv.

This is what the halls in the apartments looked like. I think that is the rest of the tv from the previous picture.

Another standard dorm room. The cupboard hides resuscitation instructions.

It was so dark I could only shoot using flash.

Another one of the very modern phones found here.

Just another standard room.

More instructions. “Fill the sewer with water, so the smell will end.”

A roow panel with a speaker of the central radio system. I think the company Teleste had a monopoly on central radio systems in Finnish public buildings. Their products seem to be everywhere.

Someone’s carved a hole in the wall.

Correct me, if I’m wrong, but is that mould?

On the previous door they just broke the lock. Here the entire door is cut in half.

Noting much new here anymore.

Another way of opening doors?

The students have had a good selection of hobbies to choose from.

My question is, which one was done first: removal of the lock or cutting up of the door.

Just another dorm room. And a lost shoe.

And another.

The final kitchen on the second floor. Surprisingly the tv has yet again taken a big hit.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part II

Hello, and let me once again wish you my warmest welcome to the abandoned vocational school dormitory covered in snow. This view is directly from the entrance located in the part between the old and new sides of the building.

First up there was a cozy common room for the inhabitants. It featured lots of different kinds of chairs from a varity of eras. The pillars decorated with painted bricks and flowers are also noteworthy details.

Imagine coming home from a hard day of lessons. There’s a cozy fire in the fireplace and your friends are playing some Chopin on the piano.

In Finland there are loads of jokes about the intelligence of vocational school students. This reminds me of some of them.

The neighbouring houses really were close to the dormitory. Their inhabitants were not too pleased with the current state of this place and all the vandalism going on.

Looking back towards the entrance.

There had been a payphone in the lobby. It had completely vanished, and was nowhere to be found in the building.

The common room also had a small canteen.

All the apartments were pretty similar. There was a kitchen and dining room and several rooms housing the students. They were all pretty similarly furnished. This time the devil is in the details.

The dining room also acted as the tv room. There was only one tv set in each apartment.

All the dorm rooms were essentially similar. They were long and narrow, and there was a wide work table by the windows. The furniture had also included beds and shelves.

Someone wasn’t too happy about the outcome of the hockey match? And this isn’t even a joke. Some Finns have thrown their tv out when Finland have lost.

What I really loved about the kitchens here was that they all had similar tiling above the sink. That is so vintage!

The dorm’s cleaning instructions. Every week before thursday someone had to clean the toilet, common space and take the trash. Cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes was on everybody’s own responsibility.

When roaming through the house I couldn’t help to wonder the astonishing amount of instructions attached to walls. It seemed as if the dorm manager had no faith whatsoever in the poor students to be able to do anything on their own. Then, on the other hand, they were vocational school students…

The bathrooms included the same theme as the kitchens. Wonder if the girls left the buckets behind when they did their last cleaning shift.

Just another dorm room.

And another. In an interview in the local newspaper a few years back, the property manager said he suspected that some people were breaking in to sleep here.

Here’s another toilet. It’s common to have the shower in the same room as was the case with the previous one. This one only includes the toilet.

Every single dorm room included one of these. Makes me wonder why there was a payphone in the lobby. Or could it simply have been the case that teenagers of the 2000’s didn’t know how to use these anymore.

Here we go, more instructions. They read as following:

  1. No intoxicating substances.
  2. Smoking in the smoking area only.
  3. Avoid noise, especially between 10 pm and 7 am.
  4. The inhabitant is responsible for the guests. No guests allowed after 9 pm or during weekends.
  5. It’s not allowed to stay in the dormitory during school hours unless you’re sick.
  6. Take care of cleanness and report any problems.
  7. Spending weekends in the dormitory requires written permission and a valid reason.

What a nice place to live this seems to have been.

Although it was in the middle of the day, it was very dark inside. All curtains were closed and the destroyed windows had been replaced with plywood.

I usually love old elevators. This one, however, looks scary.

Breaking the doors wasn’t enough. Someone wanted to ensure destruction by using a mechanical saw.

To be continued.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Part I

On the edge of the city center in Oulu stood a large house with boarded windows.

The older part was built in the early 1950’s and was designed by the first city architect Martti Heikura.

An annex was added in 1973.

The place was the student dormitory of a vocational school located nearby.

Or actually it no longer was, it had been. Because of air quality problems it was abandoned at the end of the 2007-2008 semester.

It had stood vacant for years. The city was drawing new plans to replace it alongside with the old vocational school with new apartments, but planning took time. It was just a matter of time, when the demolition crews would move in.

I waited for years to get my chance to photograph here. Eventually I contacted the heads of the organization owning the building.

I was granted permission and given the keys to the dormitory. It was early January, and after days of heavy freezing, the temperature had suddenly gone up. The snowfall was massive, the world was soft, white, and very wet, when I embarked on my exploration.

For the next two hours I would explore the complex thoroughly and film my most extensive and largest gallery so far.

Welcome to the habitat of Finnish youth of late 2000’s.

A Taste of Education

In the 1950’s a workers’ institute was founded in a small village. The main aim of it was to provide education to trade union actives and to weaken the strong pro-communist opinions in the area back then. The institute received funding from the USA. It has been rumoured, that even the CIA was involved, but this may be just a rumour.

The institute was very active still in the 1980’s and a new canteen was built alongside the 50’s buildings. By the mid 90’s the amount of students had fallen dramatically, and the old buildings had become expensive to keep. The trade union sold the buildings and activities to a local organization providing similar education.

Although the buildings were elegant and valuable, their location became a problem. They were in a small village in the countryside some five kilometres from a major village and 25 kilometres from the nearest city. In 2002 the organization moved its activities to the city. The buildings found new use, but were later abandoned and have stood empty since 2010. The local museum wanted to list them as protected, but years of neglect and vandalism did their job.

When I arrived on the scene, demolition permit had already been granted, but nothing had yet been done. If vandalism isn’t counted as pre-demolition.

The original institute consisted of the light coloured main building and two darker wings in a wide U-shape.

The looks of the wings are deceiving. They look like wooden, but are actually made of bricks underneath.

The other wing. The wings and the main building are not actually connected. A shelter has been built between the doors so, that you can get from one house to another without getting wet. The bluish building on the left is the canteen which was built in the 1980’s.

This is what it looked like in the lobby.

The lobby from the other direction.

A sawmill was originally located on the grounds of the academy. The river flows right behind the last birches.

It was getting dark outside and my camera really wasn’t that good, so I decided to leave photography to another time. I didn’t want to use the flash, as there were houses right on the opposite side of the road running past the place.

We explored the main building and entered one of the wings. We then discovered a mattress and some food remains. Someone had very recently spent a night in the building, and we really didn’t want to meet him. So much for the adventure this time, then.

Bored on a Summer Evening

Almost two years had passed since my last explorations in abandoned buildings. There were two main reasons for that. The first one was that I had no time. I studied two degrees and worked three jobs. The second reason was, that there was nothing new to explore in my home town. I had already visited the most interesting places I had heard of, the rest had been demolished before I had gotten the chance to enter.

I graduated and left one of my jobs. Suddenly I had time to see my friends. On a really hot July day we went swimming with two of them, we had ice cream downtown and tea at my friend’s place. It was late in the evening, and we had ran out of things to do.

“You go to those abandoned places, don’t you”, my friend asked me.

“Yeah, but it’s been a while since the last one. Seen all the ones in town already.”

“Well take us to some of the old ones, then. We wanna go too!”

The only place left was the power plant of Martinniemi sawmill. It was a clear and warm summer night, perfect for an adventure. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did take a few shots using my phone. They’re not of very good quality.

If I recall correctly, this one is from the backside of the building. There were extremely rusty metallic stairs to the left of the window, and they led to a basement door which was the easiest way to enter after they demolished the steps to the main entrance to prevent us from going in.

The control panel looks pretty much the same as during my last visit. A few more tags have appeared.

The graffiti is also a new addition. It’s around 10 pm and the sun is still up.

Here’s something I did not photograph during my last visit. At the back there’s a narrow corridor going through turquouise, metallic cupboards. They’ve contained some electric equipment, but are now all broken up.

Another view on the interior of the power plant. If you compare the view to the photos from my last visit, you can see, that the condition of this place has deteriorated a lot since my last visit.

Photos from my previous visit can be found here.