Kortepohja got its own bit of Berlin

More than 20 graffiti artists got free hands to do their magic in the exit staircase of MNOP buildings during December. Their work can be found on nine floors, and styles are as diverse as are the artists. Part of the work can be seen through the windows from outside the building, but you can admire it best by stopping by the hallway.

Street art has been on the wish list for the Student Village for a long time. The project got its final push in the autumn of 2020 when a questionnaire was conducted for the tenants of MNOP buildings. In the answers for the questionnaire lighting, graffities and general cleanliness were the most suggested ideas for improvements. The exit staircase between the buildings has been popular among street artists for quite a while, but we wanted to fill the space with more colourful and impressive works of art.

“Street art is a part of Kortepohja and we at Soihtu have also been thinking about a natural way to bring graffities into the Student Village. When the questionnaire showed that the tenants wish for more colours and especially graffities, it all fell into place”, tells Soihtu’s community manager Jenna Pigg. “I hope the graffities bring joy for the tenants of the building as well as for passers-by and make the residential building more pleasant.”

Best jam ever

With help from Janne Saarikoski, who organises graffiti and street art workshops in collaboration with culture association TUFF, we were able to gather a group of local graffiti artists thanks to whom the legendary MNOP in Kortepohja Student Village got a new look that it deserved. “When I started to gather artists to work at MNOP buildings, I sent a message to our channels to see if somebody was interested in the project in the evening, and the next morning, we had enough painters”, Saarikoski describes the enthusiasm for the project.

Soihtu gave the group that Saarikoski gathered free hands to do their works of art in the exit staircase of MNOP buildings. “We have usually organized Spray Jams in Jyväskylä yearly, and that wouldn’t have been possible without this opportunity. This year the jam was – quoting a mate – the best ever. This was also the coldest jam ever, considering that usually we do this during the summertime”, Saarikoski says with a laugh.

The enthusiasm of the artist to paint in the Student Village may be reflected best by Saarikoski’s statement: “It is merely right that it was Kortepohja that got its own little Berlin with local, Jyväskylä style”.

MNOP building complex in the Student Village represents typical concrete architecture that was popular in many countries during the 1960s and 1970s. The simplified aesthetic of concrete reminds many people of large suburbs and quick urbanization that caused a fast need for housing production which was resolved with a lot of concrete construction and big building complexes in Eastern Germany among other places.

MNOP buildings in Kortepohja Student Village got a new look that it deserved.

Impressive graffities in the exit staircase of MNOP have been made by Janne Saarikoski and other artist.

Part of the work can be seen through the windows from outside the building.

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