This summer, Åland Post arranged the stamp competition “My summer cottage” to find three motifs that personify Åland cottage life and summer idyll. The competition attracted 77 entries presenting summer cottages from all parts of Åland. The jury had an exciting and fun task to explore all the nominations to select three winning summer cottages.
The stamp competition “My summer cottage” ended on 31 July, and the jury has now selected three winning cottages:
1. The croft. Tailor’s cottage from 1854, Eckerö. Nominated by Ramona Wesén in Mariehamn. Excerpt from the motivation: ”Here, we live the simple summer life on nature’s terms, without heating and running water and without television. This is where we enjoy the Åland summer, recharging our batteries for the winter season.”
2. Strandskatan. Modern summer home, Eckerö. Nominated by Nils-Gustaf Eriksson in Mariehamn. “A hot day at the jetty. The sauna is heated for the evening dip. The boat is safely docked. A perfect summer day at the cottage!”
3. Finngrundet. Combined bath cottage/sauna, 1950s, Föglö. Nominated by Sandra Tiidus in Stockholm, Sweden: “A used sauna and two bath cottages were shipped there and combined into our main building. Now, my grandparents’ great-grandchildren are running on the sun-warmed rocks. On the island, we enjoy the simple life without either electricity or running water, and we couldn’t be more grateful for this place that is closest to our hearts.”
Jury member Pia Sjöberg presents the jury’s choices and reasoning:
“It was a lot of fun to experience so many summer gems, which obviously mean a lot to their owners. In the jury, we agreed that the architectural qualities of the cottages should not be considered most important - what was essential was that they should convey a feeling of joy, hospitality, and enjoyment of life.
The jury found three main variants of the Åland summer cottage: the old croft where history is in the walls, where you live the simple country life, but in a significantly more restful and undemanding form than previous generations. The second variant is the small cottage with rudimentary standards, but with room for the good things in life and visiting friends. Finally, we have the modern cabin with all imaginable amenities hidden behind an unpretentious facade with a functionalist design language.
Common to all three categories is privacy and the proximity to nature and water. Summer life is lived outdoors! Many owners also highlight the cottage as a gathering place for family, relatives, and friends over several generations, and as a place for relaxation and recovery from a stressful everyday life.”
We congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted an entry. The winning summer cottages will be illustrated on stamps by artist Lars Sjööblom. The stamps will be available to buy in the form of a stamp booklet as of 9 June 2023.
- Johanna Finne, Åland Post
- Mårten Sundberg, Nya Åland, newspaper
- Rebecka Eriksson, Visit Åland
- Pia Sjöberg, Kulturbyrån/Cultural services
- Sirkka Wegelius, City Architect of Mariehamn