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Harmooni’s story

Surroundings that are more than 100 years old create a special atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.
Built in 1910, the Halosen Harmoonitehdas factory building is one of Jyväskylä’s landmarks.

The birth of the Halonen's harmonium factory

Let’s go back in time to 1910. A characterful style, handmade items and simple shapes are on the rise thanks to the Arts & Crafts movement. The Arts & Crafts idiom has found its way to Central Finland. The fantastic old buildings contain depth, history, and lifelong memories.

Harmoonitehdas’ attractive brick and wooden-framed structure represents the romantic nationalist art nouveau style of architecture, which is rare in the region. The building was designed by Antti Halonen, the brother of one of the organ factory’s founders, organ master Aapeli Halonen.

Aapeli Halonen (1863-1928) himself was an upstanding citizen who led the firefighters’ choir and sang in Male Choir Sirkat. His spouse Ida participated even more in the municipality’s cultural and non-profit activities. The whole second floor of the large building was designed for residential use. Of course, Aapeli lived there with his family, as did his children and their families, right up until the early 1960s.

A CULTURAL CENTRE OF ITS TIME

Artist life

Kilpinen collected a wide range of money, weapons, ornaments and folk tradition items from his numerous guests, and kept the items in his home and the attic of the Halonen building. Kilpinen’s dream was for Jyväskylä to have a museum, and he donated his collection to the city.

Soon his dream became a reality, as the Museum of Central Finland was established in 1932. Viktor Kilpinen was also an art financier, who financially and morally supported artists such as Oskar Raja-aho.

Oskar Raja-aho (1899-1932) was Jyväskylä’s first sculptor. His most well-known sculptures in Jyväskylä include the Aino statue in Kirkkopuisto park and the Bear sculpture on Rajakatu. He and his wife moved into the organ factory in the late 1920s. The artist’s uncle Oskari Raja-aho had been a carpenter at the organ factory and had also lived in the building. The Raja-ahos’ home received many visitors and they socialized with other Jyväskylä-based artists, particularly Carl Bengts, Urho Lehtinen, and Jonas Heiska.

Artists in the building

Antti Halonen (1870-1945) lived in the Halonen building in an atelier studio from 1910-1915.
In Jyväskylä, the artist was free to focus on painting for the first and really only time in his life. In five years he held 15 exhibitions in his atelier at the organ factory and elsewhere in Finland.

Halonen’s organ factory was a cultural centre of its time, with artists and sculptors living in the upstairs studios. Other occupants included e.g. Viktor Kilpinen and Oskar Raja-aho. Viktor Kilpinen (1865-1935) was the manager of Sisä-Suomen Rauta and a world traveller, who lived in the Halonen building in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

SAVED BY THE CITY

Conservation

When the organ factory ceased operations in the early 1960s, ownership of the building transferred to Valio. The residential floor contained several rented apartments, and the factory hall was converted into a car repair workshop. In the late 1970s, Valio decided to demolish the valuable building, and it was only down to coincidence and some forward-thinking citizens that the building was saved.

The City of Jyväskylä bought the Halonen building, renovated, and partly restored it. The building is a construction historically valuable conservation site in the region. While the Halonen building was owned by the city, it housed a graphic design workshop, and the second floor was home to the Galleria Harmonia gallery. The Jyväskylä Artists’ Association’s gallery operated in the building’s basement floor for a long time, followed by a Creative Photography workshop

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