Edgy, profound, functional. With just the right dose of whimsy, Finnish architecture, like other Finnish creations (think Nokia and Iittala), mirrors the country's people. See why we think these Helsinki buildings provide an arresting backdrop to one of the world's most creative and alluring cities. - Becca Hensley
STOP AND LOOK
TEMPPELIAUKION KIRKKO, THE ROCK CHURCH
Architects: Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen
Year completed: 1969
Why we love it: This sacred space, blasted from a rocky outcrop and in the same part of town as Olympic Stadium, is underground. Rocky walls make for splendid acoustics, and the above-ground copper roof evokes an ancient tomb.
Architect: Eliel Saarinen
Genre: Art nouveau
Year completed: 1919
Why we love it: Covered with pink granite and bedecked with a clock tower and statues that hold lamps and guard the main entrance, it's a fine example of the Finns' rebellious take on art nouveau (an outlook heavily influenced by the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic).