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Stefan Lindfors’s giant bird sculpture erected as the landmark of Helsinki Airport

Press release
Article published
22.8.2017 at 11:35
A large-scale sculpture resembling a bird by Finnish interior design architect and sculptor Stefan Lindfors has been set up by the entrance road leading to the airport. Finavia ordered the artwork to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence and the opening of Helsinki Airport’s new south pier.

Finavia has for a long time planned a suitable landmark at Helsinki Airport in a place where it would be visible when entering and leaving the airport. The large-scale sculpture by Lindfors has stood tall by the entrance road leading to Helsinki Airport since Tuesday morning.

Final touches to the sculpture are still ongoing. The artwork will be completed by Thursday 24 August.

“The sculpture resembling a bird as an emblem of the airport is an excellent continuum for our Art Port concept and a magnificent way of welcoming passengers to the airport. We also want to promote Finnish art and design in Finland’s centenary,” says Ville Haapasaari, Airport Director at Finavia.

Lindfors’s 16-metre tall sculpture moves in the wind like a giant weather vane. The sculpture’s massive sail not only works as its source of energy but also as a big screen. The projectors attached to the creature’s wings reflect messages for guests arriving at the airport.

“My sculpture is a flying fantasy. It will eternally and unpredictably keep on moving above us, fueled by the wind. My artwork presents a new dimension of itself when it speaks to us through a reflected image, telling new stories and information day after day, year after year,” says Lindfors.

According to Lindfors, the winged sculpture resembles a bird, which is a symbol of aviation and communication bringing together different nations. It is especially well suited for the airport, especially now that Helsinki Airport is renewing and expanding through Finavia’s significant investment programme.

The name of the sculpture is still an open question. Finavia will be looking for a name through an open name contest that will be launched soon. Finavia will provide information about the name contest separately. The goal is to announce the name on the eve of Finnish Independence Day on 5 December 2017.

Finavia’s art collection also includes Lindfors’s artwork Concorde that resembles a dragonfly. It was originally purchased for the former domestic terminal in 1993. Since then the sculpture has been relocated. Now it flies in the area for long-haul flights, by the roof of the new south pier.

The sister sculpture, 10-metre high Aviator Solaris, was unveiled at the entrance road to Vaasa Airport in 2013. It is a joint purchase of Veljekset Gröndahlin Säätiö foundation and Finavia.

Lindfors also redesigned Helsinki Airport’s luggage lobby 2B in 2015. Airport Council International ACI chose it among the ten most innovative airport realisations.

When Helsinki was World Design Capital in 2012, Finavia launched its Art Port concept, focusing on bringing art to airports, with the objective of offering passengers new and surprising services. Airport experiences are a great way of standing out among other possible international transfer airports. Art also has a positive effect on passengers’ satisfaction, which is why it also forms a part of developing Finavia’s customer experience.

The south pier is part of Finavia’s EUR 900 million development programme that aims to strengthen the position of Helsinki Airport in both the international competition between airports and as a significant air traffic hub between Europe and Asia. An internationally competitive airport is important for the wellbeing of all of Finland as it helps to maintain good flight connections for Finns to all destinations around the world. The expansion will allow the airport to serve up to 30 million passengers annually.