Insignificant Helsinki landmarks #3: “Lippakioski”

In the late 1930s Helsinki city architect Gunnar Taucher designed a new type of kiosk. Sure, there had been kiosks before, but Gunnar’s stroke of genius was to add a canopy to the kiosk. Now the customers could buy their filterless cigarettes without getting wet – brilliant!

Fast forward some 70 years. Nineteen of these old kiosks remain, mostly built in the 1940s and 1950s. Everyone loves them. No, I’m telling you people can’t get enough of them. In fact, if you could marry a kiosk a lot of people would, because they are so in love with them.

The problem is noone wants to use them anymore. Sure, there are a couple of cunning entrepreneurs who managed to turn their kiosks into thriving cafés – but even they are only running in the summer months since normally these days people like to fill out their Lotto coupon in a 7-11 style little convenience store where you can escape the sleet for a moment. Kiosk keepers also appreciate the amenities more modern kiosks have to offer such as heating, running water and toilet facilities. 

It looks like the old kiosks are staying though since they provoke so many positive memories in the older generation, such as being bombed by Soviet planes or being very poor. 

But here’s an important message from the Kasper Stromman Design Blog: we’re sorry, but a canopy frankly doesn’t cut it anymore.

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