The Yellow House

I originally spotted this location next to a narrow road on the outskirts of a small town, when I realized that it looked overgrown and abandoned. I didn’t have time to explore it back then, but when making my way up North on another journey, I gave it another go.

Trees and bushes covering the yard and house plus broken windows. They’re clear signs of abandonment.

Definitely abandoned. It looks like a former residential building, but some details are a bit puzzling. Normal, rural residential buildings don’t have doors or porches like that. Yet I couldn’t figure out what else this could have been if not a residential building.

Even hours of digging through the Facebook group of this town have shed no light to the mystery. So let’s just agree that it was the home of a very wealthy family. Or then it contained several smaller apartments.

As the door was sealed, I had to climb in through a window.

Large doorways were a thing in this house. The round shape of that one is a later addition.

The fireplace does look somewhat strange. Perhaps the original fireplace had been removed and a brick wall built instead.

The other room featured lots of trash and a trashed cupboard.

The house would have been very beautiful if it had been taken care of.

On the other side of the main entrance was a large bathroom. It was definitely a later addition, not an original feature.

And why I believe things to be that way? Because this was the bathroom window.

Another room featuring lots of trash and a smashed fireplace.

Another reshaped doorway. The one who renovated this place clearly had a thing for them.

Back at the room where I started from. I wonder, where that beautiful old door is from.

Upstairs we go then.

Somehow I came to think, that this building was undergoing a renovation, which had been interrupted for some reason. Everything was looking so incomplete.

The mess continued upstairs. All the leaves and stuff must have come off the trees during countless autumn storms.

The feeling of interrupted renovations just grew here. Either that or the vandals have done a proper job.

This room had been stripped to bare wood. Also the roof was leaking and the leak had already damaged the floor.

Another indication that renovations had started. This has apparently been a kitchen, but the kitchen is missing.

It is also a bit puzzling to me that the kitchen was upstairs, as this is highly unusual in Finland. This further makes me believe, that the building had been divided into at least two apartments, one on ground floor and one one floor up.

Another photo from the former kitchen. The missing floor board is a rather scary feature.

So much for this house then. The bathroom window can be seen on the right.

It is kind of sad that the building is in this shape. After all, it was a nice looking large house. But with the leaking roof, I think that its days are numbered.

The Fish Finger School Part IX

As we reached the basement, we had gone through the whole building accessible from the main entrance. In addition to the school and the stairway with the former teachers’ apartments, there was another stairway, which was only accessible from the outside. The door to it is the one on right.

The balconies featured some of the largest and best made graffiti in this building. Especially the one on the middle balcony was nice.

The stairway was basically a mirror image of the other one, except there was no entrance to the main school here.

The apartments here were larger and lighter here than in the other stairway.

Even the kitchens in this wing were original. They have gotten large graffiti pieces on the walls.

At this point we were distracted by a family of three picking flowers on the field on the opposite side of the road.

But even these apartments had been used as classrooms. The blackboard solution is rather innovative here.

These classrooms were much smaller than the ones in the school. Although the kitchens are original, some renovations have been made during the years. The lamps and the roof are not original.

Another kitchen in its original shape. They have really gone where the barrier is the lowest. Living rooms have been changed into classrooms, other rooms have been retained as they have been.

In some apartments even the smaller rooms have been converted to school space.

The former inhabitants have even enjoyed having a garden view from their windows.

Now it’s not about shoes anymore. Somebody actually forgot their trousers inside the abandoned school.

Some of the apartments were more damaged than others. This one had loads of wood chips on its floor.

This apartment had apparently been in apartment use for longer than the others as it had gotten a new kitchen.

Up, up we go.

The amount of wood chips was suprising. We were actually wondering where they came from as there were no wooden floors in this wing.

Once again this would have been a beautiful apartment with a touch of vintage. The doors were lovely.

The kitchens were on the side of the entrance, the living rooms on the side of the main school. Here’s yet another one in its original appearance.

Unfortunately we had to end our adventure here. Through the windows we had seen the kids we met earlier on the yard. They were walking from the main school towards the Language house. They were wearing hoods and masks and one of them was carrying a metal bar. They entered the Language house and started smashing things.

We really didn’t want to encounter them again, so we left.

The Fish Finger School Part VIII

This was apparently the music class, as there were a lot of music books and sheets on the floor.

In addition to music books there was drawing related stuff on the floor.

Harry Potter stuff. Yay!

The books did seem a little bit outdated. Even my generation had more modern ones.

Drawing on desktops was something we did a lot during primary school. Luckily I was never caught.

At this point we started hearing noise from the main school. It sounded like somebody was smashing things up there.

The freshest markings on the walls were from the day of our visit.

Preparing food in a microwave owen. Suppose that’s important for secondary school pupils.

After going through the second floor we did something which I usually don’t do. We went back to the staircase and entered the basement.

This is the boiler room. Probably there has been an oil powered central heating system back in the days, but now that the school has been connected to the heating network, that has been removed.

One more post to go – this time.

The Fish Finger School Part VII

On the other side of the wall to the narrow roof was a side corridor with classrooms. The corridor was very light and very nice.

The rooms were spacious and the ceiling was pretty high. Everything had been smashed here. Even lamps had been torn from the ceiling.

Once again I’ve found the final coffee of the school. The previous time it was still in the coffee machine, now it’s just on the table.

Even this classroom was totally smashed.

The classrooms had windows near the ceiling with large shades. Even they had been damaged some way.

Sheet music printed on transparent sheets and used on overhead projectors. Although still common in my youth, I haven’t seen any projectors in this school.

So the kids have been making flowers.

All chairs and tables in the room have been thrown in one pile.

The pupils have had their own lockers, it seems.

A Swedish notebook by someone. As Swedish is one of the most hated subjects in schools, I don’t wonder at all, why they didn’t take it home with them when they graduated.

Even a Swedish test is laying in the rubble. The grade is’t even that bad.

Posters. The best lessons were, when we were allowed to do those. Every time we started a new subject on a lesson, we asked our teacher, if we could do posters. Often we could.

That one is about Norway.

They have even destroyed the fluorescent tube lamps. That is always especially smart, as the tubes contain hazardous substances like quicksilver.

Mimmy has written their name on two different walls, as one wasn’t enough.

Some of the classrooms had cupboards and wash basins at the back.

It wasn’t just the people of Vantaa and Espoo arguing. A local gang from another corner of Vantaa had left their mark on this classroom.

The sinks and closets were a feature of several of the classrooms.

More destroyed fluorescent bulbs. The strenght to tear the lamps from the ceiling has been achieved by eating Pringles.

To be continued.

The Fish Finger School Part VI

The pen has been attached to a wall to avoid theft. So somebody removed the wall.

The back room of the school kitchen. The city has tried to avoid unauthorized visitors by blocking windows, but it has proved to be pretty useless.

At this point we also realized that we weren’t alone in the building. There was a group of young teenage boys, who we met in the canteen. They seemed pretty polite and even greeted us when we met.

Most kitchen appliances had been removed, but the fridges were still there.

These are the doors, where the strange feet were hanging when we first arrived. They led to a stairway.

Like I said several times earlier, this was called the Language house.

According to this there had been a teachers’ meeting just a few weeks back. That is bullshit, and the text has been written by a former pupil. The school had been closed for more than a year at that point.

The location of the classrooms behind the kitchen revealed, that the use of the rooms had been changed at some point. The solutions were pretty innovative.

A lost shoe, the most common thing found in abandoned buildings. Wonder, where all the Cinderellas of Finland are.

The small classrooms in the staircase behind the kitchen had balconies. They have probably been teacher apartments as it was very common back in the 50’s and 60’s to house them at schools. This was a way to attract teachers to schools in remote locations, and this was one.

The kitchens were probably in their original appearance from the 50’s. That is real vintage.

The door up front leads to the back of the kitchen. The stairs down the right head to the exit. Up front is a mystery.

Oh yes, definitely old teachers’ apartments. Did I already mention, that I love the 1950’s handrails.

The wooden doors are original too. These would have become wonderful apartments with a touch of vintage had they been located somewhere else.

The bathroom floor was original, too. It was made of the same hexagonal tiles as the one in my own bathroom back then.

Another kitchen. This one has suffered much less vandalism than the previous one. Despite its age it’s in a remarkably good shape.

So we reach the second floor. The architecture of the building is rather interesting here, but ok.

To be continued.

The Fish Finger School Part V

A closer look at the books on the floor of the Language House’s entrance hall. This article is about a national park in the northern part of Finland very close to where I used to live for ten years.

Biology books or books about mushrooms had gotten no mercy in the hands of people throwing stuff around the school.

From the mess we could even identify a Swedish book.

The toilets had taken their share of the suffering. Of course we didn’t expect anything else.

A closeup of the Swedish textbook.

This is probably what once was the teachers’ study.

Even the teachers had left everything behind. Not really sure if this complies with the GDPR or not.

So this was where the teachers had coffee and gossiped about pupils. The teachers’ study was something, which you never got to visit as a pupil. Now I’ve been to several of them.

At least some of the most sensitive files have been shredded, when the school closed. And now the stuff is all over the place.

That has required some imagination. I mean of all the things you can tag on a cupboard door in an abandoned school and you choose Opel Astra.

This game of hockey seems a bit lost to me. Or perhaps it was the teachers, who were playing it. Who knows.

Old disquettes. Old schools are probably the only place you can find those anymore.

More prehistoric things: photo slides and some film.

I sincerely hope they weren’t running Windows XP anymore. But wait a second, this isn’t a home.

And here is the ice hockey board game from the packaging. Even this one hasn’t been saved from destruction. I was rather thinking, it would have been a cool thing to play a game of Stiga in an abandoned school while eating those macarons seen earlier.

The large room next to the teachers’ study was the canteen. Here’s a look over to the kitchen.

And another look back towards the teachers’ premises. The mess was total.

I really have nothing to say about this.

Now when I come to think of it, I’m not really sure, if this was a classroom or a teachers’ study. Probably the latter, as pupils didn’t have access to soft chairs like the one in the picture.

To be continued.

The Fish Finger School Part IV

So this is it, the entrance to the language house. As you can see, the destruction is total. All glass on the doors has been smashed and the yellow crumbs on the floor are insulation material from the building.

The doors opened to a small lobby. The glass walled room is probably where the caretakers have been sitting back in the days.

The stairs lead to the second floor. They are of a beautiful, yet simplistic 1950’s architecture. I wish such stairs and handrails would still be made.

We wouldn’t yet head up. A corridor opened to the right, but we wouldn’t go there either.

The mess included a destroyed tape deck, some English books and a destroyed fatboy with its contents thrown all around the place. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t those things pretty expensive back in the days?

An English book for fourth grade. This is apparently the teachers’ edition with all the correct answers. Well, this was the language house, after all.

To the left of the entrance was the gym. Destruction was pretty total there, too.

I just love old school gyms. They’re so beautiful with their wooden floors and large windows. Sadly they are a disappearing feature.

One thing that makes them so special are the stages. That poor thing there on the floor is an electric organ.

The stages almost always have side entrances and small rooms for the performers.

The text in the back of the scene says Pope.

A closer view on the poor organ and extremely random stuff around it.

And the text at the back of the scene in full. ‘Pope, talk’, it says.

So this is what happes, when you throw a piano off the scene.

The small room for the performers next to the scene has apparently spent its last years as a storage for gym stuff.

An escape route?

Well, we certainly wouldn’t escape, as we had only started our exploration.

The Fish Finger School Part III

In this post we’ll explore the barrack further. Have you already noticed, that the amount of photos from the school is way larger than from many other locations, by the way.

Like I said, they had left everything including laptops. That one wasn’t of the latest model, but could surely still have been used had it not been to the vandalism.

This has been a geography class. The pictures belong to a series of prints aimed specifically at teaching it at schools.

Such nice yellow details. The curtains are a planned one, but the instruction leaflet and the plastic bag of a local grocery store certainly are unintentional.

Ps. Sorry for the poor quality. My phone isn’t that good in dark spaces.

Another classroom, this time much smaller.

I believe this to have been a maths class because of the squares on the blackboard. They were used for solving calculations. The writing on the blackboard is basically the people of Vantaa and Espoo cursing at each other.

I’ve said it numerous times, but I’ll say it again. I just don’t understand, what anybody gets from throwing furniture around and breaking things. Even a lost hockey stick has landed here.

The TV has met its fate here, too. The fluorescent lamp on the floor shouldn’t have been broken. They contain hazardous substances. But little do the vandals care.

Probably the most common word written in abandoned buildings. Tells a lot about the people who mess them up.

Still a few decades back these were in every school. Nowadays they are appreciated and some people even collect them. Sadly a lot of them have been destroyed, when old schools have been abandoned, vandalized and demolished.

A look at the corridor from the other direction. The red couch still looks inviting.

A door with a glass window wasn’t what I would have expected in a temporary and cheaply made building like this. Well, there has been more to destroy for the vandals.

A poster against bullying has been attached on the door. Now there isn’t much left of it or the door.

Finally some sunlight.

The next location is the badly vandalized language house. This was the original Vantaankoski school built in the 1950’s. The main school is from the early 1960’s, when Vantaa, still known as the municipality of Helsinki back then, was starting to grow rapidly. But first let’s take a look back.

That red wooden small building is the barrack we just went through. The main school is the yellow one behind it.

And on to the Language house.

The Fish Finger School Part II

Like I said earlier, we started by exploring the small red barrack on the yard. It was the most recent addition to the school complex, but the date of building remains unknown. It wasn’t visible on maps from the early 1990’s.

We were greeted by a huge mess and destruction already at the front door of the barrack.

All blinds of the building were closed, so it was pretty dark inside. As the destruction was so total, we really had to mind our step.

We first found what seemed to be a normal classroom. Everything had been left as it was, when the use of the building ended here a year earlier. Still, keep in mind, that all this destruction has appeared here in just a year.

And everything, I really mean everything had been left as it was. Even the TV, which someone had by now torn from the wall. Someone had also emptied a fire extinguisher inside the room, which explains the white dust.

It was impossible to know what had been taught here back in the days.

There was a small corridor connecting the classrooms in the small barrack. The red couch looked inviting and quite luxurious too for a building like this.

Another classroom, an even bigger mess. The artist, who had drawn on the blackboard clearly is the same as in the previous room. The large things on the desks are lamps, which have been torn from the ceiling.

An interesting way to decorate a wall.

Instruction to the use of the barrack. You have to keep the premises in the shape in which they were, when you came in. You may not touch the contents of the closets and drawers and you have to close the doors and windows when you leave. You may not disconnect computers and you may not enter the storage room.

I think none of these have been obeyed here.

Chips and macarons. Whoever has been spending time here, has been hungry.

To be continued.

The Fish Finger School Part I

In my late teens I was a football coach for a girls’ soccer team. The girls were just four years younger than me and after quitting I remained friends with several of them. In fact I am the godfather of one of their children.

One of the girls moved to the capital region after my first season with the team. We’ve been following each other on social media for all these years, but haven’t spoken much. She noticed my content about abandoned houses and told me that she knew one place she wanted to visit and asked me to join her for a reunion after 14 years.

Of course I said yes.

When she told me about the place, I instantly recognized it. It was a school, which consisted of several buildings. The first one was built in the 1950’s, the second one in the early 1960’s. The place had been abandoned just a year earlier due to being in very bad condition, and it was scheduled to be demolished.

This school became nationwide news headlines in 2009 after the police was called there. The reason: a pupil had taken one fish finger too many during lunch.

A couple of weeks later the school was evacuated because the same pupil was rumoured to have carried a weapon. In the end the ‘weapon’ turned out to being a lighter in the shape of a gun. Even before these events someone had lit a firework inside, emptied a fire extinguisher and shat in the ventilation shaft. There was another incident in which the police came to the school, as a student was injured during the fight and hospitalized. In another instance the fire crew was needed, as someone lit up a broken toilet seat. The police was again needed in 2018, when somebody sent threats of a school shooting on Snapchat.

But in 2019 the school was closed. Keep in mind that it has been abandoned for just a year. During that time it has gone into horrible shape, so somebody really must have hated the place.

The first glimpse of the school from behind the bushes.

A better look at the 1960’s main building. Notice the excessive amount of graffiti.

And the excessive amount of vandalism. All windows are broken.

There was also a small wooden building belonging to the complex. Apparently they had run out of space at some point.

This is the original, 1950’s built part of the school. Later it was known as ‘The Language House’. Probably because language classes were located there.

As usual I started a walkaround the place and suddenly remembered being here five years earlier, when the school was still in use. I was at my uncle’s wedding on a wonderful, hot summer evening, when the temperature was around 30 degrees Celcius even at midnight. I wanted to leave with the last train and as I remembered us driving past a school from Vantaankoski station, I automatically expected to find the station by finding Vantaankoski school.

Except that it wasn’t Vantaankoski school that we’d passed. In the middle of the night in scorching heat I was running through a new area, which only consisted of freshly paved streets with no buildings between them trying to catch the last train of the night while listening to Vesala’s song ‘Tytöt ei soita kitaraa’. I made it to the train.

Even the sign says Language House.

The trash containers were in a small shed. I just love that style of drawing.

The language house from the back side. Its architecture was pretty interesting. And unusual for a school of its era.

In one end of the school was a wing, which was different from the rest of the building. I assumed that was for the teachers’ apartments. Back in the 1950’s it was common to build an apartment building for school staff. That was a way to attract teachers to schools in remote locations. And in the 1950’s this was a remote location despite being so close to the capital.

Another look at the junction of the apartment wing and the main school. Notice the difference in materials and style.

The apartment wing as seen from downhill. The entire school was built on a hill, and this was wonderfully taken into account in the architecture of the newer school building.

The newer school building. Once again I am guessing, but I think that the gym is located in this corner of the building. The windows hint at that.

Furniture had been carried out of the building. It looks like two people have sat here smoking cigarettes.

The end of the newer school, which I still believe houses the gym.

I believe that the letters were original. When lighted, this landmark was quite visible, as the school was located in the middle of nowhere, when it was completed.

The main entrance to the newer school building. We could have entered at once, but I demanded a complete walkaround of the premises. That’s something that I always do, as you probably have noticed.

Even school books had been thrown out of the building.

Whatever it is, it is very well made.

Some of the graffiti were indeed of quite a high quality. Such as this Spy vs Spy themed one.

There were more of them.

Now this is a direct reference to the fish finger incident. The cops are asking the Frankfurter to drop the fish finger. Ingenious.

And this is us walking on the yard of the language house.

We were scared shitless by that figure up there. We really thought, that someone was hanging in there.

But in the end it turned out to be just a figure of a person. We threw it inside.

In the next post we’ll enter the red barrack seen earlier.