Scan Magazine, Issue 115, August 2018

Page 54

Scan Magazine  |  Culture Feature  |  The Sami Cultural Centre Sajos

A versatile cultural centre in Sápmi The contemporary Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos certainly stands out, and not only for its striking architectural design. Sajos provides fascinating information about the Sámi as Finland’s indigenous people, and the largest events venue in northern Lapland is also an attractive meeting venue with state-of-the-art technology. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos

Sajos, located in Inari, on the southern bank of river Juutua in the northern part of Finnish Lapland, is the centre of culture and administration for the Sámi in Finland, Here, visitors can take a journey into the living culture of Europe’s only indigenous people. The building’s purpose is to create better conditions for the Sámi in Finland, and for them to be able to preserve and develop their language, culture and business activities, as well as cultural selfgovernment. The building houses the Sámi Parliament (Sámediggi), which is 54  |  Issue 115  |  August 2018

the highest political organ for the Sámi in Finland, and other Sámi organisations.

birch and pine, all of which express Sámi culture. Sajos was the winning proposal of a competition. Both architectural concept and interiors are by HALO architects from Oulu — a young team inspired by Scandinavian architects and design icons such as Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen.

Contemporary architectural design

The word Sajos comes from the Inari Sámi language and means ‘a place where people stay for a while’. Fittingly, Sajos is a sustainable construction, with low energy consumption. The building’s shape is inspired by a reindeer’s hide and its form also takes inspiration from Sámi handicrafts and reindeer herding, one of the traditional livelihoods.

Completed in 2012, the remarkable reinforced concrete building definitely belongs in the modern world, with wood elements both on the exterior and interior from local trees such as spruce,

Eight organisations work in the building, including the Sámi archives, a library, and the Sámi educational institute’s classrooms and offices. It also includes

“At our centre in Sajos, you can learn all about the Sámi people and culture, and about the Sámi Parliament and how it works,” says marketing manager Katariina Guttorm.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.