I like Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo). Time after time it astonishes me with its quiet beauty. It definitely is not the wow architecture that the promoters of Helsinki seem to think desirable. It looks small and modest, almost invisibly melting into its unlovely environment.

I keep reading that it resembles an average shopping centre; I find it subtle, harmonious and balanced. I have to admit it is not photogenic, but walking past it almost daily I feel a need to embrace it as if it were an old tree.

Inside, I have been only in the main hall, which is "as usual" in spite of the large steel sculpure, Gaia by Kirsi Kaulanen, that feels more like the alien of the eponymous films than something representing endangered species of plants.

I won't have opportunity to experience the auditorium in the near future as all the concerts are sold out, but at the opening concert on TV it looked lovely and inviting. If it succeeds in weaning me from the awkwardness and discomfort I always feel in concerts, it will have accomplished the impossible.