Korundi is the cornerstone of culture in Lapland, a mail truck depot that survived the Second World War and now conveys its message through art.
Rethink the North
Korundi House of Culture is a space for art and people in Rovaniemi, Lapland. It is home to Rovaniemi Art Museum and Lapland Chamber Orchestra; a place where the world unfolds from a northern perspective.
Korundi is a stone foundation of culture in Lapland, a post bus depot that survived the second world war and now delivers messages through art. The red brick landmark is a stylish venue for meetings and functions, where first-class arrangements and service guarantee memorable moments.
Art creators and art lovers, celebration and the everyday, history and the present all come together in Korundi. Korundi’s wonderful exhibitions and unique concerts are a constant source for inspiration, astonishment and enlightenment.
History of the house
Korundi was born on the premises of a mail truck depot completed in 1933. The mail truck depot is one of the few buildings in Rovaniemi that survived the Second World War. After the war, the depot was expanded using bricks salvaged from the ruins across the city.
The modifications and expansion completed in 2009 and 2010 were designed by architect Juhani Pallasmaa. He also had a hand in the design of Rovaniemi Art Museum, which has been located in the old mail truck depot since 1986. Korundi opened on 25 May 2011.
Korundi combines the city’s history with modern architecture. The Finnish company Akukon is responsible for the design of the acoustics of the concert and multi-purpose hall built in the Korundi courtyard in 2011. Famous for its wonderful acoustics, Korundi Hall is used as a venue for a variety of events, from concerts to conferences.
The total floor area of the building is 5,300 m².
Did you know...?
Back when it was a mail truck depot, the building was used for various get-togethers and events. The wartime dance ban was lifted in 1944, but dancing was restricted by a high entertainment tax. People’s hunger for dance was satisfied at the mail truck depot by organising get-togethers in the downstairs garage hall. Taxation was evaded by disguising these events as social evenings with programme, where dancing was allowed tax-free for an hour. The dancing was the most anticipated part of these evenings, and people always made the most of the hour set aside for dancing, down to the last minute.
The same garage hall also provided a setting for boxing activities in Rovaniemi. The boxing matches were hugely popular, and spectators even sometimes came to blows themselves as they tried to get close to the boxing ring.
Korundi’s name & logo
Korundi was named through a name contest. Korundi (corundum) is a mineral found in Lapland, known as the second hardest mineral in the world. Corundum stones include rubies and sapphires, among others. The highest quality corundum stones have been found in Lapland. A star formation can be produced in a corundum by grinding and polishing the stone, which is why they are also called “Stars of Lapland”.
Mika Junna, designer of Korundi’s logo ‘Rytmi’ (Rhythm):
“Rhythm is one of the most important elements in both art and music. The turquoise colour used in the logo is seen to represent creativity and renewal in colour psychology. The colour is also often present in jewels, which creates a link to the word ‘korundi’, i.e. corundum.”