Marjaana Niemi, Professor, Project leader



Tanja Vahtikari, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Helsinki was not a ‘rubble city’ as many of its European counterparts were in the immediate post-Second World War period. Nevertheless, in the postwar period it too engaged itself with the discourses and practices of reconstruction. Urban reconstruction, at the material, social and mental levels, together with the rapid growth and the many displaced people in the city in the postwar years, evoked a feeling of transformation among citizens. Urban planners and sociologists were the visionary experts of the postwar urban development and life. My research focuses on the less-explored group of urban experts in the postwar period, urban historians, and the role of urban history  in explaining and managing urban growth, transformation, and displacement in postwar Helsinki.

For more information please contact: tanja.vahtikari(at)


Henrik Mattjus, MA, Researcher, PhD student

As part of this project my dissertation will analyse the socially produced rural space in the 1920´s and the 1930´s. In the context of architectural history, rural space and the buildings in the countryside were brought to the professional discourses of civil engineering in the 19th century. The architects and the master builders involved in the civil engineering of the countryside tried to encourage the participation of the laymen in the planning processes. This encouragement was argued through different channels: professional journals, magazines and various guidebooks.

In these discourses the negotiation between modernity and traditional ways was inevitable. Rural buildings were typically in desperate need of modernization but the old building customs and the traditional building materials were highly appreciated among the laymen as well as the professionals. This friction between modernity and tradition generated variety of experiences and contributed a basis for the direction of the rural architecture in the following decades.

For more information please contact: henrik.mattjus(at)

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