Origin of the Artists’ Home Foundation

The 1908 testament specified that the entire estate of Juho and Maria Lallukka would be converted to cash upon the death of both spouses. After this the legacies, which were all drafted in Finnish marks, would be executed. When all of the legacies had been executed the remainder of the estate would be formed into a fund, which would accumulate and be used for the establishment and maintenance of an Artists’ Home in Helsinki.

The actual estate grew at the same time as the currency lost value, and therefore more than FIM 5 million (approx. 1,6 million euros as at 2015 valuation) remained for the Artist’s Home project. The executors of Juho Lallukka’s testament were bank manager Georg Sidorow and lawyer Otto Tanner, who were both close friends of the family. They interpreted that the benefactors had excluded writers from the Artists’ Home, since the testament included a separate legacy for the Book Association of Finland. In addition, the Association had already commenced its own project for a Writers’ House in 1910.

The President of the Republic of Finland, Lauri Kristian Relander validated the bylaws of the Foundation, which specify that the Artists’ Home be for the use of visual artists, musical artists and dramatic artists.

Apollo rocks prior to construction of the Artists’ Home. Eero Nelimarkka, 1919, oil on canvas. Lallukka Artists’ Home Foundation

Apollo rocks prior to construction of the Artists’ Home. Eero Nelimarkka, 1919, oil on canvas. Lallukka Artists’ Home Foundation

Establishment of the Artists’ Home

The President of the Republic of Finland appointed the inaugural members to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The inaugural Chairman of the Board was Onni Tarjanne, the President of the National Board of Public Buildings.

The Foundation purchased a block of rocky land from the city of Helsinki at the address Apollonkatu 13 – Etelä-Hesperiankatu 14. The design of the building was tendered in an open competition that was organised at the time of purchase in 1930. The price paid for the 1600 m² block of land was FIM 3.5 million. However, the purchase was written as a non-interest bearing debt to the city for as long as the land is used as an Artists’ Home.

Two II prizes and two III prizes were awarded in the architects’ competition and one of the receivers of the III prize, architect Gösta Juslén, had his design implemented. Building company Oskari Vilamo commenced construction works in early 1932 and the first residents moved into the building in June 1933.

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