Eric Adlercreutz:

The architect's pen meets the paper


Gallery Elverket’s Autumn opens with a solo exhibition by the architect Eric Adlercreutz:

The architect’s pen meets the paper – Sketches and drawings from 1950-2018. 

The exhibition tells the story of Adlercreutz’s (b. 1935) wide-ranging career as an architect and shows how drawing has played a major role in his work, while also revealing it to be a lifelong passion. For Eric Adlercreutz drawing is not just a technical performance, but a way of thinking – a collaboration between brain and hand. He says thinking by drawing is still part of the architect’s work, even though nowadays many architects are aided by modern technology. 

The exhibition is divided into six different sections showing different aspects of Adlercreutz’s drawing. The first exhibition space is dedicated to his early drawings, whose subjects are people and animals. The second room shows drawings made in Italy, from his first Italy journey in 1960 onwards. Adlercreutz’s enthusiasm for Italy had its beginnings in his six years at Alvar Aalto’s (1898-1976) office. The fascinating character of Italy’s towns and villages and its architecture offers great variety, since visitors can see both recognized masterpieces and less-well-known built objects. Architettura minore has inspired numerous architect generations who have travelled to Italy and elsewhere in the Mediterranean region. 

The third exhibition room shows competition entries and the accompanying perspective sketches. What interests Adlercreutz in perspective sketches is the way the new building interacts with the existing environment. The competition entries also play a very important role with regard to what the work will be like in the coming years. The exhibition’s fourth section shows drawings and sketches connected to Tammisaari. Motel Marine was one of Adlercreutz’s first major projects, and he originally founded his own office in Tammisaari together with Nils-Hinrik Aschan. The wooden town has also been a repeated source of inspiration for Adlercreutz. 

The fifth room contains various sketches and alternative versions, clearly demonstrating what thinking by drawing really means. Adlercreutz himself cites contemporary research evidence that hand exercises also exercise the brain. Thinking about things by drawing has a long history, which is linked, for example, to Grand Tours. According to an idea conceived in the 18th century, everyone should travel and see the key monuments of western culture with their own eyes. Drawings and sketches made on the journey became an important part of the experience, since drawing offered a multifaceted way of contemplating the things seen. It was also around that time that a new kind of architecture drawing emerged – capriccio (literally a goat’s leap), which combines things seen and invented. 

The exhibition’s sixth and final section shows abstract acrylic paintings and crayon drawings that have come about in spatial experiments and drawing related to architecture. In these works we clearly see how drawing takes thoughts in new directions. At the same time, the viewer can share Eric Adlercreutz’s thrill in drawing, which transports its maker into new and amazing realities. 

Further information: Curator Juha-Heikki Tihinen:, +358 (0) 400 688 458. 

Exhibition opening at 17–19 on 14.9.2018. You are warmly welcome. 

The exhibition is accompanied by the The pen as a tool for thought symposium on 21.9.2018, held in collaboration with The Christine and Göran Schildt Foundation.


Free guidance in the exhibition on Thursdays at 2 p.m. No signing up in advance is required.