The construction of Amuri’s wooden housing block begun in 1860s in order to fulfill the needs of Tampere’s growing worker population. Out of these blocks only Amuri’s Workers’ Housing block remains. The housing block includes five dwelling buildings in their original places, as well as four courtyard buildings. The dwelling buildings have been furnished with apartments that place between 1882 and 1973. You can also find a public sauna, a bakery, a cobbler’s workshop, a grocery store, as well as a paper- and haberdashery store from the area.
Strong industrialisation brought new inhabitants to the city from the mid-19th century onwards, and the city needed plotland to accommodate new people. At the same time Finnish immigrants were travelling towards Amur Land in Siberia. Tampere people thought that the new district was located far from the city centre and it became to be called metaphorically as Amurinmaa, Amur Land. The name took the form of Amuri.
The communal kitchen system was a special feature of Amuri district’s houses. A typical communal kitchen ran through the house vertically, and it was surrounded by two rooms on both sides. The community around the kitchen thus included four families with their subtenants. A houseowner had typically two or three bedrooms and a private kitchen. One of the outbuildings had outhouses on top of the stairs in one or two rows. Many outbuildings also had a stable. Amuri had several communal saunas. People went to the centre of the city only for special errands, all the necessary things could be bought from the areas merchants or Mustalahti market.
Open-air museum into Tampere
During the 1950s, Hämeen Museoseura society had an idea that Tampere should have an open-air museum. The idea had developed into a workers’ home museum by the 1960s. New town plan was drawn for Amuri in 1965 and in it the city reserved one block for museum use.
The leading thought of the museum planning was to describe the living and the lives of Amuri people from the founding of the district to the 1970s. The dwellings should look like the inhabitants had stepped out of them only for a moment. Inhabitants were created to each museum dwelling, and they were general descriptions of Amuri people. Names, professions, family sizes, etc. were searched from records. Information for interior décor was gained from estate inventory deeds, literature, and interviews were conducted. The artefacts in the rooms are mainly from Tampere and Tampere Region, partly also from Amuri. The only authentic dwelling is the one from 1973.
The main principle when the buildings were turned into a museum was to conduct as little renovation as possible as well as using professionals who had the same skills as the carpenters, painters and masons in the olden days had.