The National Arts Council for Architecture and Design in Finland has chosen to grant the State Prize for Architecture to Anssi Lassila in recognition of his unconditional strive to achieve the highest possible quality in his work and for his uncompromising ambition to create a better environment for life.
In their award statement the members of the Arts Council note that while Lassila is especially known for his skillful work with wood, his architecture is characterized by versatility and an openness for working creatively with different materials as best suited for addressing each individual assignment. While Lassila’s work reflects a respect for tradition and an understanding of traditional methods, his architectural expression is innovative, open-minded and fresh. In his buildings a strong sense of sculptural form is joined with deep knowledge of tradition.
The granting ceremony was held today at Smolna, the banquet hall of the Cabinet of Finland, and the prize was awarded by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Sampo Terho. In addition to the state prize for architecture, also the state prizes for design, fine arts, illustration, media arts, cinema arts and photography as well as the Art Moves People award were given out at the ceremony.
The National Arts Councils operate under the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike). State prizes are awarded annually by the seven national arts councils. State prizes can be awarded to an artist or a group of two or more artists in recognition of a work or performance in a specific art form that has been completed within the last three years and is of especially high artistic merit. State prizes can also be awarded to artists for their long-term valuable work for the benefit of a specific art form. In addition, state prizes can be awarded to art associations or other communities.
The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) is an expert and service agency for promoting the arts. Taike together with its arts councils and boards awards grants to professional artists and subsidies to communities in the field of the arts. Annually, Taike allocates 34 million euros as grants and subsidies.
For a news release by the National Arts Councils, see here.
Anssi Lassila as Keynote Speaker at the 9th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research 2017 in Oulu On December 1, 2017
Plan, Develop, Design: Making Smart Cities and Architecture
The 9th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research 2017 (Atut2017)
Oulu, Finland, November 29th – December 2nd 2017
University of Oulu, Oulu School of Architecture
December 1, 2017 at 13:30
Anssi Lassila is one of the keynote speakers at the 9th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research 2017 in Oulu. The other keynote speakers are Christian Nielsen, Ph.D., Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark and director of research at Business Model Design Center (BMDC), Miguel Á. García-Fuentes, MSc Arch., European Project Coordinator at the Energy Division of CARTIF Technology Centre, and Associate Professor at the University of Valladolid, and Rune Nielsen, Ph.D, co-founder and partner of the design practice Kollision, Interaction Designer. In addition, Helmi Ben Hmida, IoT expert & Digital Transformation expert, senior researcher and project manager in the Smart Living competence center in the Fraunhofer Institute Germany, gives a presentation as a special event speaker.
The Symposium is an annual forum for research in architecture, urban design and planning. It has been organized by the Finnish schools of architecture together with the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA since 2009. The main mission of Atut2017 is to gather together experts from around the world to provide contributions for the research and development of smart cities and architecture.
The main theme of Atut2017 is ”Plan, Develop, Design: Making Smart Cities and Architecture”. The Symposium aims to contribute to as well as critique and address a broad array of issues related to smart development and smart practices in architecture, design and lighting ranging from smart cities and communities to smart environments.
The world is urbanizing and digitalizing, and cities, communities and buildings are being developed as smart environments. This raises a variety of new questions to be addressed for planners, designers and developers. Symposium aims to examine in what ways architectural design as well as urban planning and design can contribute to and address the smart city phenomenon and its practices and projects. It explores what kinds of integrative processes and methods may be used to connect development actions in smart cities, communities, environments, architecture and construction and how multidisciplinarity could benefit research, design and planning.
It is a forum for researchers and practitioners in architecture, urban design and planning, as well as any other fields affiliated to planning, development and design of smart cities such as social sciences such as geography, cultural anthropology, interaction and communication studies.
More info about the event here.
The CNN Style section highlights twelve buildings that transformed cities around the world in its review of Phaidon’s newly published book Destination Architecture. The new book by Phaidon presents a selection of one thousand of the most compelling designs from this period, and the review by Matthew Whitehouse in the CNN Style section highlights twelve of them as some of the world’s most fascinating buildings. Two buildings designed by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA are among the twelve: the Suvela Chapel and the Kärsämäki Church.
Presenting examples from all around the world from nations as diverse as Mexico, Denmark, China and the United States, the book aims to become a unique resource for enjoying examples of contemporary built culture. It offers a rich overview of remarkable architecture of this time form well-known landmarks and hidden gems, from the world’s tallest skyscrapers, to the most intimate places of worship.
From the designs presented in the book, the review by CNN Style Edition lifts up the following twelve buildings:
World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava (New York)
UN City by 3XN (Copenhagen, Denmark)
The Orange Cube by Jakob + Macfarlane (Lyon, France)
Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+ (Tainan, Taiwan)
Kärsämäki Church by OOPEAA (Kärsämäki, Finland)
Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel by AZL Architects (Nanjing, China)
Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA (Espoo, Finland)
Salling Tower by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter (Aarhus, Denmark)
Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art by SO-IL (David, California)
Emporia shopping center by Wingårdhs (Malmö, Sweden)
Parish Church Señor de la Misericordia by Moneo Brock Studio (Monterrey, Mexico)
Cayan Tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Dubai, UAE)
For the full review in the CNN Style section on architecture, see here.
For more info on the Destination Architecture by Phaidon, see here.
For more on the Suvela Chapel, see here.
For more on the Kärsämäki Church, see here.
The city of Seinäjoki has commissioned OOPEAA to create a strategic preplan for the Seinäjoki Center around the train station. The plan, AsemanInto, a Gate to the City, is to create a framework that can serve as a guideline for developing the city of Seinäjoki in as a dynamic and thriving center of activity for the larger area around the city in people centered manner. It takes the area around the train station with its role as connecting the city with the larger area around it and with the rest of the country as a central focus and places it at the center of the developing city creating a clear and fuctional system of connecting lines between the station and the rest of the city.
The basic urban strucutre of Seinäjoki is fascinatingly efficient. The train network brings people form near and far right into the middle of the developing city and the layout of the city offers ample opportunities for further developement and densification. As the city grows more dense and there will be more residents living in the center of the city, the area around the Seinäjoki Train Station will form an important part of the developing city center. The development of the area around the station will give a new direction and a new expression to the entire city. The area around the station along with the Travel Center will form an essential core to development of the entire city and they will be instrumental in addressing questions regarding access and accessibility in the city.
The plan for the area is based on creating a clear continuum of block in which multiple different functions coexist and mix. It forms a rhythm in the urban structure creating open public spaces at the end of streets. The most important of these open public spaces is the central square by the station, which also serves as a central point of connection between the Kalevankatu street, the Aalto Cultural Center and the station. It has the potential to serve as a central starting and end point for the pedestrian center in the city. As an open urban public space it offers a gathering place with the restaurants serving the food province as well as a station for city bikes for rent. The square plays in important role as a central gathering place as well as as a route to the functions and premises in the surrounding city blocks.
For a full description of the plan, see here.
The City of Seinäjoki has commissioned OOPEAA in collaboration with Gehl – Copenhagen to work on a plan to provide a framework for the future development of the Seinäjoki Centre.
As the first part of creating a vision for the future of the Seinäjoki Centre, OOPEAA is working on an analysis of the current challenges and future potential of the area through a set of participatory workshops together with representatives of the city. The analysis will be ready at the end of the year and it will provide the foundation for future work on the vision to continue next year. The aim is to create a master plan for the central parts of Seinäjoki and a set of guidelines for the development of the city in the long run. The vision puts people at the center of the planning work. The goal is to create a livable and sustainable city that provides a good framework for quality of life for the citizens of Seinäjoki.
OOPEAA brings to the project its expertise and vision in shaping sustainable buildings and urban environments, while Gehl Architects, a world-leading consultant in integrated urban solutions for making “cities for people”, will share its tools for activating urban life through innovative, participatory and people centered spatial solutions.
As part of the project there will be a series of workshops organized with the goal of facilitating the creation of a common vision for Seinäjoki city centre through an open dialogue involving the different stakeholders in a shared process.
The first workshop between OOPEAA, Gehl and representative of the City of Seinäjoki took place on November 13, 2017. The carefully prepared workshop provided a great occasion to meet, discuss and share ideas and envision tools for developing the future of Seinäjoki city centre together. After introductory presentations by Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA and David Sim of Gehl People, the participants worked in groups on envisioning ideas for the future development of Seinäjoki and creating an action plan with actions to be implemented in the short term, medium term and long term.
Some key themes that arose from the discussion were about integrating light and art in the city environment, providing more opportunities for activities in order to create an “all-year city”, balancing transport modes through prioritization of bicycles, and creating a new approach to provide diversity in housing and integrating green elements and cozy living spaces in the public spaces of the city. As a common thread in all proposals there was a positive attitude towards the city. While it was noted that in the long term Seinäjoki needs more flexible housing solutions, a redesign of some strategic street-links, a new multifunctional station area and better services for families and young people as well as elderly people with green facilities that allow opportunities for all to actively enjoy them, many short-term and “software” ideas could be implemented already in the next two years.
Some of the proposals for actions to be implemented in the short term included ideas for changing the speed limits to balance car and pedestrian traffic, activating the ground floors with pop-up spaces for young people, activating key areas with street art and lights, providing better and more interactive information through apps and online platforms, fostering public transportation through focused pilots (e.g. a free bus card trial), and installing free wi-fi points and electric sockets for charging phones and laptops in open spaces in order to enable the possibility of spending more time outdoors whether for work or play.
The Future Vision for the Seinäjoki Centre is a process commissioned and developed by the Urban Planning Department of Seinäjoki City in collaboration with OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture – Seinäjoki and Gehl – Copenhagen.
For more information about the project, click here.
The open architecture competition for the new Ylivieska Church was organized by the Ylivieska parish and it was open to participants in Finland and the rest of the European Union. The assignment was to design a new church to be built after the old wooden church from 1786 was lost in a fire in 2016. The competition site is located in the center of the town of Ylivieska in a landscape of cultural and historical value by the Kalajoki river.
OOPEAA’s entry ‘Kooda’ received a shared third place in the competition. Out of a total of 214 entries, seven were nominated for prizes: in addition to one winning entry, two entries received a shared third place and four received honorary mentions. No second prize was awarded. A total amount of 75 000 euros was given out to the winners in shares varying according to placement.
The assignment was to create a functional concept of high architectural quality for a church building and a parish hall that works well in harmony with the surrounding landscape and offers potential for further development of the area while also serving as a landmark for the town.
In addition to designing a new church that resonates with the tradition of Christian church building, the competition assignment also included the task of addressing the surrounding landscape with the ruins of the burnt down old church, the graveyard for war heroes and the parkland around the church. The assignment also asked to take into consideration the traffic arrangements serving the needs of the visitors as well as maintenance and service needs for the church and the parish.
Kooda, the entry by OOPEAA was judged by the jury to manifest a high level of professional quality with its simple and strong church building with a saddle roof and a tall, sharp and slender belfry standing on pillars.
The jury for the competition was composed of six representatives of the parish as well as four architects, two of them nominated by the Finnish Association of Architects.
For more information on the competition for the New Ylivieska Church, see – place a hyperlink to the competition documents here.
For more information on Kooda, the competition entry by OOPEAA, see the project description here.
Finnish Wood: Past and Future
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
10:00 – 10:45
Nordic Architecture Fair
Scene G 1
Svenska Mässan, Mässans gata, Gothenburg
In the Nordic region wood has been used as a building material for tens of thousands of years. Anssi Lassila recounts what he has learnt from traditional construction methods and how this has helped him create innovative solutions for the future.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion under the theme of Country Life on Scene G3. Anders Nyquist – architect, founder and principal Eco Cycle Design, Njurunda, Anssi Lassila – architect, founder and principal OOPEAA (Office for peripheral architecture), Helsinki, Christian Broen – project leader Dansk Byplanlaboratorium, Copenhagen, Hlédis Sveinsdottir – architect, co-founder and principal EON arkitektar, Reykjavík, and Sixten Rahlff – architect, co-founder and principal 3RW arkitekter, Bergen will discuss issues of sustainability related to the relationship between urbanization and the countryside.
The Nordic Architecture Fair is a two-day event that brings together architects, town planners, property developers and building contractors to discuss one of today’s most pressing questions: What kind of society do we want in the future, and how will it function?
Nordic Architecture Fair is organized by The Swedish Exhibition and Congress Center. It is a dedicated Nordic exhibition, conference and meetings event for cutting edge architecture and urban planning. There are four areas of focus Architecture and Urban planning, Digital building, Innovative materials and Smart buildings. The speakers include Helle Juul, MD, Juul & Frost.,Gert Wingårdh, MD, Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor, Gro Bonesmo, Space Group, Monica von Schmalensee, MD, White Arkitekter, Sima Zangiabadi, Head of Business Development, PEAB, Lars Andrén MD, Momentum, Emma Jonsteg, Charles Renfro and Julien De Smedt.
Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA receives the Alfred Kordelin Prize on November 6, 2017.
Alfred Kordelin Foundation supports the sciences, literature, the arts and public education with grants and awards. This time, the foundation gave out grants to support the arts and sciences with the total amount of €3.2 million euros. There were 4 760 applications for grants and 271 grants were given out to researchers, artists and societal agents. In addition, four prizes totalling 120 000 euros acknowledging important contribution of individuals in their fields were awarded to a virologist, Finnish translator, an architect and a journalist in recognition of their exceptional work.
The recipients of the 2017 Alfred Kordelin Prize are Anssi Lassila, architect, Sarah Butcher, professor of microbiology, Kari Klemelä, Finnish translator, Elina Grundström, journalist and author.
In its statement, the board of experts deciding on the nominations for the Alfred Kordelin Prize characterized the work of Anssi Lassila as original and distinctive. They praised his work for a careful consideration of the historical context of the site, an ecological use of materials and a strong sense of materiality of the final building. They noted that his architecture is contemporary in its expression yet also rooted in the tradition of Finnish craftsmanship.
The Alfred Kordelin General Progress and Education Fund, established in 1918, is one of the oldest foundations in Finland operating in the Finnish language. Alfred Kordelin’s (1868-1917) idea was that ‘work for Finnish culture must be granted support in order to strengthen and deepen it internally, and also to represent Finnishness amongst other nations.’ The Fund’s first grants were awarded in 1920. Since then, the Foundation has provided uninterrupted support to Finnish science, arts, literature and adult education, and promoted internationalization. This year, 2017, marking 100 years since the death of Alfred Kordelin, a total of 5 million euros will be given out by the Foundation in grants and prizes.
For more information on the prize and a list of grant recipients, visit www.kordelin.fi
For a press release by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, see here.
OOPEAA wins with Lujatalo the alliance completion for the new church in Tikkurila
OOPEAA’s proposal, Church in the City was selected as winner in the competition for a new church in Tikkurila. The church will be built by Lujatalo in alliance with OOPEAA through a collaborative design process in which the architect and the builder develop the project together in a close relationship with the client. Also the competition entry was developed in collaboration between the architect and the builder, and the collaborative process was considered as a factor in the competition evaluation.
Located in the eastern half of the metropolitan area of Helsinki, Tikkurila is the administrative and commercial hub of Vantaa and it has about 220 000 inhabitants. The goal for the Church in the City project is to create a church building that serves the community in its many needs in multiple ways as well as offers office and meeting spaces for social services and parishioners in Tikkurila.
The new church firmly takes its place in a centrally located block in the center of Tikkurila. It is both bold and subtle in its character with the main church hall rising tall and completing the block in a well-balanced dialogue with the surrounding buildings. With a strong presence in the streetscape, it forms an identifying landmark for the neighborhood. In the interiors, the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed and the scale of the building takes the personal experience of people as its starting point.
While the building offers work spaces that support contemporary work styles, it also serves as a meeting place for people in their everyday activities as well as for special occasions. The church hall will seat an audience of 500 in its maximum capacity, with the possibility to divide the space in various ways to accommodate multiple simultaneous activities according to need. There will be workspace for up to 143 people in the building with several meeting spaces of various sizes and levels of openness or privacy to accommodate the people of the neighborhood with a café, a yard to serve as a gathering space in the summer months, and a shop area.
The church is integrated in a block that will also contain an adjoining apartment building that offers social housing and student housing. The Bethania Housing is included as an option to be built concurrently with the church as the project progresses. It will be composed of 185 units in a total of 11 700 layer square meters.
The church is commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and it is slated to be ready in 2020. The Bethania Housing will be commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and by HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region.
For a press release on the competition in Finnish, see here.
For more information on the New Tikkurila Church, see here.
Two projects by OOPEAA, Lonna Sauna and Pihapetäjä Housing have been nominated for the Wood Award / Puupalkinto 2017.
The Wood Award is granted annually as a sign of recognition to a building, interior or structure that represents Finnish wood architecture of the highest quality or in which wood has been applied in a way that advances research and development in construction techniques in a significant way. The prize was given out for the first time in 1994 and it is now awarded for the 20th time. The prize is awarded by the Wood Information Center Finland. The award will be announced on Wood Day / Puupäivä on November 30, 2017 in Helsinki.
You can find all the nominees and vote for your favorite one here.
The Lonna Sauna is a new a public sauna located on the small island of Lonna in the archipelago just in front of the city center of Helsinki. It is part of the historical continuum of the tradition of public saunas in Finland. The building was commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna and it was officially opened to the public in summer 2017.
On the border between urban and nature, between the busy life of the city and the open landscapes on the sea, with views framing the silhouette of the city on one side and opening towards the see on the other, the Lonna Sauna offers people a way to relax and enjoy the nature and the sea. Just a short boat trip away from the city, the Lonna Sauna is part of the unique environment of the island where the man-made meets the natural and enters into dialogue with it. With its wood-burning stove it offers a great bathing experience. It allows the bathers to enjoy the view to the sea while relaxing in the warmth of the sauna.
The compact 190 m2 building is built solely with natural materials with a sculptural pitched roof in zinc plate and a masterfully handcrafted wooden log structure, which is left visible and untreated. Furnished with wood-burning stoves it recreates the calm and almost sacred feeling of the traditional Finnish sauna, while placing it in a new, contemporary architectural frame. The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening on to the archipelago create strong contemporary interiors. The terrace is directly accessible from the sauna rooms and from the outdoor shower space bridging the sauna with the seashore.
More information on the Lonna Sauna here.
Completed in summer 2017, Pihapetäjä is the first wooden multi-story apartment building in Joensuu. It was commissioned by the Foundation for the Promotion of Karelian Culture as a response to their desire to build affordable rental housing of high quality in an ecologically responsible manner. The first tenants were welcomed to make their home in the building this summer and it has been well received by the residents. Pihapetäjä is the first of three multi-story wooden apartment buildings to be built in the block over time.
The design is based on the modular principle that was first developed for the Puukuokka Housing Block in Jyväskylä. Here, it was modified to meet the specific requirements of the Pihapetäjä site and its apartment composition.
Ecological Sustainability and Quality of Life
The site at the edge of a pine forest provided a well-suited and attractive context for an apartment building to be built out of wood. The goal for the Pihapetäjä project was to build an apartment building of a human scale in Joensuu. Ecological sustainability and energy efficiency were central defining principles in the project. Pihapetäjä has a carbon footprint that is 40 % smaller during its life cycle than that of a regular apartment building. Solar panels produce energy for the general power grid and for the needs of the building itself. Thanks to the characteristic features of wood as a material, Pihapetäjä offers a great quality of life in a building that it feels good to breathe in.
Research and Development for the Use of Wood in Building
With several pilot projects in the city, Joensuu is today recognized as a pioneer in research and development in exploring the new potential of wood as a material for building and construction. As a readily available material locally, wood presents an important and viable alternative for the development of sustainable construction in the region. The Pihapetäjä building is part of a larger research and development project in the use of wood for building and construction today.
More information on Pihapetäjä Housing here.