Architecture

The Station

The coordinates of the Heinävesi railway station are: 62°22′57″ N and 28°38′36″ E.

It was opened to traffic on December 1, 1939. The station building was designed by Thure Hellström, and it was completed in 1938.

Thure Hellström was a Finnish architect known for his designed railway stations. He graduated from the Polytechnic College and worked at the railway board as an architect between 1927 and 1940. His designs have been used to build dozens of railway stations across Finland in the 1930s.

The Heinävesi station is located six kilometres south of the village of Heinävesi, in Eastern Finland. The station is one of the stops on the secondary track that link Joensuu with Pieksämäki. There are four passengers’ trains that pass through each day. They are short, just two or three carriages.

Now and then, a freight train stops to pick up timber and logs. The station was made an unmanned traffic point in 1990 which meant that the station was emptied.

People have lived in the station during these years but always for short periods of time.

For several years we have seen the sign ’For Sale’ on its exterior wall but never thought too much about it.

Last summer Katja called the number on the ‘For Sale’ board. The owner told her where the key was and we went in to have a look. All the windows had wooden panel and inside it was dark. We walked around with the flashlights of our phones. It was humid and cold. To be honest, it was a bit spooky. She showed the building to an architect who said that it was in good condition despite being closed for a long time. She then spoke to her brothers and and now they own the station.

It is a space that will evolve over time. Step by step, it will develop an identity.

This summer, some parts of the roof have been fixed, and Katja and her brothers did a major clean up inside. There is electricity and a new water pump.

We started offering coffee and cake for free to the people arriving or leaving. For the most part they were curious and asked to go inside to have a look. One of them, a mother with three young children, told me that she remembered standing in that very waiting room when she was a child waiting to catch the train to Pieksämäki with her parents. She remembered the colour of the paper on the walls and the other passengers with their bags. It was winter.

She was happy to see that the station was open again and that someone was taking care of it.