Villa Mehu (Villa Juice)Elis Sinistö (1912–2004)

Status

Extant

Address

2 Simonkatu , Helsinki, 00100, fi

Built

begun 1954

Visiting Information

At the time of this writing (spring 2011), although the public may walk through Sinisto’s art environment, they are not able to access the interior of the buildings.

About the Artist/Site

Elis Sinistö, a mystic freethinker, created the art environment Villa Mehu (Villa Juice) in Kirkkonummi, near Helsinki, Finland. Sinistö was renowned for his colorful personality and his many talents: he was a philosopher, yogi, dancer, singer, poet, and performance artist as well as a builder.

Sinistö started his project in 1954, after living a subsistence existence during World War II and the difficult period that followed, in which shortages were common. He constructed his own home, in the middle of a forest, recycling a range of materials and constructing many buildings, including the Sun Sauna, the Smoke Sauna, and the ship-like, main building, the Hermit's Hut. He also built a tower, Seventh Heaven, and the Hotel Elite for visiting children and adults.

Sinistö’s work, created from recycled materials, and his ascetic way of life, reflected his strong belief in remaining connected to Mother Nature. He lived alone, and was often described as a hermit, but he was not a withdrawn person. To him solitude was simply a precondition for creativity. He maintained an exceptionally large social network, including some well-known artists and philosophers. He enjoyed having visitors, and welcomed them to stay overnight in his buildings.

Sinisto left his art environment to a private foundation. However, the future of the site is not assured due to the significant expenses of maintenance and conservation, and at the time of this writing (spring 2011), although the public may walk through Sinisto’s art environment, they are not able to access the interior of the buildings.

~Minna Haveri

Materials

found materials

Map & Site Information

2 Simonkatu, 00100 fi
Latitude/Longitude: 60.169574 / 24.937636

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