Villa Mehu – Kirkkonumm, Finland - Atlas Obscura

Villa Mehu

Kirkkonumm, Finland

This abandoned villa of makeshift buildings was once the home of dancer Elis Sinistö.  


Villa Mehu was the creation and home of dancer Elis Sinistö. He first acquired the land in 1954, not by purchasing the property, but by bartering with the previous owner. During the day, he worked for the plotter, but in the evenings he crafted and constructed his visionary home.

Constructed entirely of repurposed and recycled scrap materials, Elis set out to create a welcoming villa suitable for parties and guests from his artistic circles. Near the trailhead are two buildings, a small guest room and, in Finnish tradition, a sauna. But further along the path stands his greatest labor of love.

Behind the now rusted fence are more buildings, including Elis’s home, a multi-story guest house, a sauna, communal spaces, beehives, and an impressive bee tower. In the middle of all this is a small pond originally crafted to collect rainwater, but is now the resting spot for the artist’s ashes.

In 2004, Elis died leaving behind a quiet debate over what to do with Villa Mehu. Despite being relatively unattended since his death, the buildings have preserved well in their inevitable struggle against nature. There are no clear signs of vandalism, and visitors pay their respects to the artistic home Elis left behind still filled with old clothes, newspaper clippings, toys, photographs, magazines, and daily supplies.

In life, Elis wanted to share his dancing and art with all who cared to see. In death, that art and his memory live on at Villa Mehu.

Know Before You Go

Please respect the property as some nearby residents still keep an eye on visitors.

Whether by car or public transportation, the real journey begins at Humaljärventie 46, seemingly the end of the road. From here, follow the dirt trail on foot down the hill and turn left when it splits. Follow this path past the first two buildings, over the hill and it'll lead to the gate at its end.

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July 27, 2020

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