The Senate Square (Senaatintori): Helsinki’s Urban Palimpsest

By Koompong Noobanjong.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: December 10, 2015 $US5.00

The Senate Square occupies a prominent space both in the urban fabric of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and in the collective psyche of the Finnish people. Apart from characterizing a unique allegory of political, religious, scientific, and commercial strengths, the square has functioned as a place for socio-political gatherings. While serving the existing power holders, this polysemic landscape has been a site where major contestants to power and authority have collided in making their marks, claims, demands, and representations. For that reason, the following analytical and critical inquiries in this research will first explore the Senate Square in terms of a symbolic device for the state and ruling authority to manifest, legitimize, and maintain their hegemonic power. The scholarly focus will subsequently shift to the theme of multifaceted/multilayered memories and meanings of place, where different groups of people have re-appropriated it to perform their social and political acts as well as to form their modern identities.

Keywords: Place and Identity, Power, Flows of Meanings and Memories

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.31-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: December 10, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.054MB)).

Dr. Koompong Noobanjong

Associate Professor, Department of Architectural Education and Design, Faculty of Industrial Education, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand