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Ceramic artwork Rule of Play delights the people of Sompasaari

Nathalie Lautenbacher's Rule of Play is one of the latest public art works in the City of Helsinki. The wall relief consists of two different sets of works placed on the exterior walls of the newly completed Sompasaari daycare centre, at eye level.
Rule of play ceramics artwork by Nathalie Lautenbacher2023 photo Naoto Niidome
Photo: Naoto Niidome

Nathalie Lautenbacher's Rule of Play is one of the latest public art works in the City of Helsinki. The wall relief consists of two different sets of works placed on the exterior walls of the newly completed Sompasaari daycare centre, at eye level. 

The work consists of ceramic brick and tile compositions. They reflect the history of the district as a central hub for freight transport in Helsinki, the brick construction of the area and the core of the building's function: play. The different parts of the work tell the story of the different stages of play: the pre-play arrangement, the construction and exhilaration of the new, the eventual quarrel and mess, and finally the reconciliation where things are put right again.  

Rule of play ceramic artwork by Nathalie Lautenbacher2023 photo Naoto Niidome
Photo: Naoto Niidome
Rule of play ceramic artwork by Nathalie Lautenbacher2023 photo Naoto Niidome
Photo: Naoto Niidome

Nathalie Lautenbacher explains that the inspiration for The Rule of Play was the brick from which this daycare centre, like all the other buildings on Sompasaari, is made of. Bricks are an ancient building material, and play bricks are traditional toys for children to imagine whole new worlds.

HAM - Helsinki Art Museum acted as the art expert for the project and the work will become part of the City of Helsinki's art collection. The work is funded by Helsinki’s percentage principle, which means that one percent of a new building’s construction budget is spent on art. The new daycare centre in Sompasaari was designed by Verstas Architects, with Väinö Nikkilä as head designer.

Rule of play ceramic artwork by Nathalie Lautenbacher2023 photo Naoto Niidome
Photo: Naoto Niidome

Rule of Play: an eight-part set of works

RULE OF PLAY | The Harbour | The City | Curious Things Happening in the Brick Wall | Composing | Happy Building Blocks | Palace Rooms | Helter-Skelter

Nathalie Lautenbacher is a ceramist, designer, and lecturer at Aalto University. Her own artistic production focuses on handmade, ceramic tableware sets. Lautenbacher also makes unique pots, wall pieces and installations using ceramics as her main material. She has designed objects for Arabia and Iittala and worked in the Japanese ceramics industry. Lautenbacher has received several international awards and won the Young Designer of the Year Award in Finland in 2008. Her artworks and tableware are in restaurants and museum collections around the world.

More information: [email protected]

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