Travel back in time to the Helsinki of the past! The permanent exhibition uses new technology to bring Signe Brander’s one-hundred-year-old photographs of Helsinki to life.
Most of us have probably wished we could sneak a peek into the past to see how people used to live. Now, you can do exactly that and step onboard our Time Machine that whisks you away to visit a very lively and authentic Helsinki of a hundred years past.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Signe Brander, a new 2.0 version has been created of the Time Machine virtual experience. The new Time Machine brings Signe Brander’s photographs to life with the help of VR technology to create an immersive and interactive spatial installation that takes visitors on a journey through Helsinki’s past. Time Machine 2.0 will whisk visitors away to early 20th-century Helsinki, where wooden houses are making way for a new city of stone castles. The new city is a mix of national romanticism, Art Nouveau and Nordic classicism – old traditions and new winds.
During Brander’s lifetime, Helsinki was for the first time visible from new vantage points, such as the National Museum’s tower. In addition to the bird’s-eye view, Brander also photographed panoramas at street level, capturing everyday details of urban life. Time Machine 2.0 shows projections based on Brander’s panorama photos of Kallio Church and St Nicholas’ Church (now Helsinki Cathedral).
Born on 15 April 1869, Brander photographed Helsinki and life in Helsinki at the beginning of the previous century, when she was hired by the Helsinki City Board of Antiquities to record the rapidly changing city. The 907 glass negatives produced by Brander between 1907 and 1913 are the basis of the City Museum’s collections.
Time Machine 2.0 was developed in collaboration with Teatime Research Oy as part of Demos Helsinki and Finnish Virtual Reality Association’s Virtual Reality Hubs project. Time Machine 2.0 was partially funded with the Finnish Heritage Agency’s grants for innovative projects by professional museums.
The technical production of the 360 Faces of the City experience was handled by Zoan Oy.