When Damian and I - a cardiologist and a literary agent from Cologne -, met we had a dream: sharing and giving something back, born from the encouragement we had received ourselves at a young age and from our passion for art and literature - in the form of a residency.
We found this place in Finland, a country we instantly fell in love with. Here we were inspired by the fascinating interplay of infinite nature and modern technology, as well as by the balanced social system, and the exceptionally friendly people. In 2022, Finland was voted the happiest country in the world for the fifth time.
We started to search for a house in the South of Finland and ended up in beautiful Ekenäs (Swedish) / Tammisaari (Finnish). There, we found a charismatic wooden house from the turn of the century in the Gamla Stan (old town) of Ekenäs without knowing that the former owners were Merete Mazzarella, a well-known Finland-Swedish author, and Lars Hertzberg, a philosopher and Wittgenstein expert. It was only when we signed the purchase contract in July 2018 that we found out who they really were: an unforgettable encounter. It is a great honour for us to let their creative atmosphere live on in our house. And luckily Merete and Lars are still residents of Ekenäs.
In order to support our guests we collaborate with the City of Raseborg and several cultural institutions, including FILI (Finnish Literature Exchange), the Goethe Institute, the Pro Artibus foundation (for Finnland-Swedish artists) and the Villa Skeppet (built by Alvar Aalto). Modernist Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck lived in Ekenäs from 1925-1941, and the city dedicated a museum to her which is just around the corner. In this way there are numerous exchange opportunities for our guests. In addition, we have nice and helpful neighbours.
We hope that Finland inspires you
as it has inspired us,