Kontra by OOPEAA wins invited competition for a multifunctional pavilion for the new Seinäjoki Central Square

posted on June 15th 2018 in News

Seinäjoki is one of the fastest growing cities in Finland. Currently the city has about 62 000 inhabitants, the urban area about 150 000, and the region about 200 000 inhabitants. A new Central Square will create a focal point of the public space of the growing city gathering a market place, a play area and a multifunctional pavilion with a café and a stage for performances in a central place in the city.

The City of Seinäjoki organized an invited competition for the design of the multifunctional pavilion earlier this spring. Three architecture offices were invited to participate: Avanto Architects, Architecture Office Laatio, and OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture. The competition entries were evaluated with a special emphasis on the following criteria: the way in which the proposed design relates to the surrounding urban landscape, the architectural idea and the overall quality of the proposed concept, the functionality and efficiency of the proposed spatial arrangement and its amenability to work as a multifunctional space, the identity and character of the proposed design, and the practical feasibility of the proposed design. Kontra, the proposal by OOPEAA was selected as the winner of the competition.

Kontra, the proposal by OOPEAA aims to create a public space that supports the identity and functions of the new Seinäjoki Central Square offering a harmonious counterbalance to the lively market square with a range of varied of activities. The pavilion forms a key element in the overall image of the square. The flow of urban life in the square continues seamlessly inside the pavilion: you are on the square, but under the shelter of a roof, you are in public space, but in a clearly defined place.

The extended eaves of the pavilion offer protection from sun as well as rain allowing for a continuity between the outdoors and the indoors. The pavilion firmly takes its place in the public space of the square and gives it a sense of identity while the choice of its materials deliberately creates a connection with the local tradition and enters into a dialogue with the surrounding urban landscape. The use of copper as the material of the roof is a gesture recognizing the presence of the modern tradition of Alvar Aalto in Seinäjoki. It also offers longevity in the lifecycle sustainability of the pavilion. The use of wood in the ceiling creates a sense of warmth and connects the building with the local tradition of skilled carpentry. As a local material it is also sustainable. The use of glass in the walls of the pavilion allows for transparency and makes the activities inside the pavilion visible in the urban space of the square. The pavilion offers people a place in which they can be present in the city, a place in which to be seen and from which to observe the life in the city.

For a fuller description of the proposal, Kontra, click here.


STED, the three-year research project on Sustainable transformation and Environmental Design concluded in a seminar in Copenhagen today

posted on May 18th 2018 in News

Informing Sustainable Architecture

May 18, 2018, afternoon
Blox, Copenhagen

With lectures by Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA along with Steve Christer of Studio Granda, Elise Grosse of White Architects, Jan Kauschen of Vandkunsten, and Siv Helene Stangeland of Helen & Hard

Program for the afternoon seminar is open to the public

13.30-13.40: Welcome (Lotte Bjerregaard Jensen)
13.40-14.10: Elise Grosse, White Arkitekter Stockholm “From I-think to We-think! collaboration and co-creation for innovating a sustainable environment”.
14.15-14.45: Anssi Lassila OOPEAA, Helsinki
14.50-15.20: Siv Helene Stangeland, Helen + Hard, Stavanger
15.25-15.55: Steve Christer, Studio Granda, Reykjavik ’’Small Country – Big Issues’
16-16.30 Jan Kauschen, Vandkunsten, København
16.45-17.30: Panel discussion (moderator: Peter Andreas Sattrup).
17.45 -18.30: book presentation and wine

The three-year long research project, STED, Nordic Built – Sustainable Transformation and Environmental Design concludes in a workshop and a seminar at the new BLOX in Copenhagen this weekend. Also a publication documenting the research project is now launched and available to the public.

STED has been a three year long project with the aim of developing new tools for making it possible to effectively use an assessment based on Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) as a way to evaluate the sustainability of architectural design projects from the early design stages on. It has provided a successful platform for collaboration between Nordic practitioners and reserachers for developing new design solutions and design processes for construction, renovation and transformation.

The project was initiated and coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark DTU. Selected architecture offices with a focus on research and development as part of their practice from each of the five Nordic counties were invited to take part in the project: Tegnestuen Vandkunsten from Denmark, Helen & Hard Arkitekter from Norway, White Arkitekter from Sweden, Studio Granda from Iceland, and OOPEAA from Finland.

The project consortium consisted of four research institutions in the Nordic countries: DTU and Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole KADK in Denmark, Norges Teknisk Naturvitenskapelige Universitet NTNU in Norway, and Chalmers Tekniska Universitet CTH in Sweden. The STED research project was funded by a Nordic Innovation grant.

For more information on the STED project, see here.



Anssi Lassila to lecture in Stockholm on Thursday, April 12, 2018

posted on April 9th 2018 in News

Anssi Lassila has been invited by the Association of Architects in Stockholm to give a lecture at the Kungliga Akademien for de fria konsterna. In his lecture Anssi Lassila will talk about the potential of wood in architecture through a presentation of his work. The lecture will display a range of the work the OOPEAA office from the Kärsämäki Shingle Church in 2004 to the Suvela Chapel in 2016 and more, with an emphasis on the innovative works on contemporary wooden architecture that the office stands for.



Thursday, April 12 at 17:30 PM – 19:30 PM

Kungliga Akademien för de fria konsterna

Fredsgatan 12 | Jakobsgatan 27c

111 52 Stockholm, Sweden


Drinks and snacks from 17:30, the lecture starts at 18:00.
The event is free of charge, and there is no advance booking of seats.



For more information on the lecture program and other activities of the Association of Architects in Stockholm, or to register your interest in participating in the event, see here


Risuviita offers a combination of social housing and special housing for people with autism spectrum

posted on February 16th 2018 in News

Risuviita offers a combination of social housing and special housing for people with autism spectrum

Risuviita in the Kasperi neighborhood in Seinäjoki offers a combination of social housing and special housing for people with autism spectrum. Completed in the fall of 2017, it has been warmly welcomed by its new residents who have made it their home and settled in over the past few months.

The new residential block for Autism Spectre in Kasperi is located at the intersection of two park axis. The new building takes its place in dialogue with the surrounding parkland and views in with the rest of the neighborhood’s built structure forming a focal point at the end of the long vista over the park.

With the nine apartments serving residents with autism spectrum located in the same building with the rental apartments providing social housing, Risuviita offers a combination of varied forms of living in a balanced mix. However, the different types of apartments are functionally separated from each other. The nine apartments that are intended for people with autism spectrum are placed on the first floor of the building facing the sheltered inner yard. The rental apartments are placed in the floors above the apartments for people with autism spectre as well as next to them in a way that allows both types of living to each have its own yard.

The part with the apartments for people with autism spectre is composed of three units: one larger unit of four apartments with spaces for the staff working there as well as shared spaces for dining, cooking and informal social gathering, and two smaller units that offer opportunities for more private and independent living. The character of the spaces gradually changes from more public to more private. The challenges of social interaction and communication have been carefully taken into consideration in the design. As a whole, the entity offers an opportunity for social interaction while respecting the individual needs and motivation of each of the residents. The shared spaces are designed in such a way that they can easily be altered and transformed according to need and offer opportunities for a variety of uses.

Apartments on the ground floor have direct access to the yard through individual porches of their own. The porches serve both as an entrance as well as as a terrace. On the higher floors each of the apartments has a balcony of its own. The living room spaces are arranged around the balcony or terrace in such a way as to allow for the light to enter differently into the room according to the natural rhythm of the day and light.

You can find more information about the project here.


Suvela Chapel is a finalist in the Archdaily 2018 Building of the Year Awards

posted on February 2nd 2018 in News

We are glad to announce that Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA is one of the finalists for the Archdaily 2018 Building of the Year Awards.

Suvela Chapel was selected by Archdaily readers and architecture enthusiast from all over the world amongst 3,000 other projects, narrowing down the list to 5 finalists per category. Suvela Chapel has been selected as one of the finalists in the Religious Architecture category.

Now, you can vote Suvela Chapel and make it Archdaily Building of the Year by following this link: https://boty.archdaily.com/us/2018/candidates/107731/suvela-chapel-slash-oopeaa Vote now and share the link!

Archdaily is a world-known online platform for architecture that has become an invaluable resource for architects and designers, with over 500,000 daily visits.

You can find more information about Suvela Chapel here


Puukuokka Housing Block to be completed in June

posted on January 15th 2018 in News

Puukuokka Two has now been completed and the residents have already moved in. Puukuokka Three is under construction and will be ready for the residents to move in in June 2018. With them joining Puukuokka One, finished in 2015, the entire Puukuokka Housing Block will be complete in June 2018.

Completed in the spring of 2015, Puukuokka One was the first eight-story high wooden apartment building in Finland. The entire load bearing structure and frame of the Puukuokka buildings is made of massive wood and composed of prefabricated volumetric CLT modules. Each apartment is composed of two modules, one housing the living room, the balcony and the bedroom, the other housing the bathroom, the kitchen and the foyer area. The piping for heat, water, electricity and ventilation is integrated in the wall structure in the hallway allowing for an efficient organization of the plan and making it possible to maximize the space allotted for each apartment.

Puukuokka explores the potential of modular prefabricated CLT construction to provide environmentally responsible and affordable housing of high quality. It pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities. With 58 units in Puukuokka One, 70 in Puukuokka Two and 56 in Puukuokka Three, ranging from studios to three bedroom apartments, the entire complex offers homes for 184 households from single dwellers of all ages to families with children.

In Puukuokka, the goal was to find a solution that makes the best possible use of the technical and aesthetic qualities of CLT and to create a wooden building in large scale with a distinct architectonic expression of its own. The goal was to create a building complex that combines the sense of privacy of single-family dwellings with the semi-public character of the shared spaces of an apartment building. The vision is to provide the residents with a functional space rich in experiential qualities.

Commissioned and built by Lakea, and developed in collaboration with Stora Enso, Puukuokka is an energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wood-framed apartment buildings in the Jyväskylä suburb of Kuokkala. The town plan created in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of the building complex. The CLT modules are prefabricated in a local factory in Hartola less than two hours away from the site of Puukuokka. The use of prefabricated modules has made it possible to cut the construction time on site down to six months per building and to reduce the exposure to weather conditions.



OOPEAA wins competition for a residential neighborhood in Jyväskylä

posted on December 20th 2017 in News

OOPEAA’s entry, Käpälä (the Paw) wins the invited architecture competition for creating a residential neighborhood in the Suuruspää area by the Jyväsjärvi Lake in Jyväskylä.
The competition was organized by Peab Oy in collaboration with the Association of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters of Middle-Finland and the City of Jyväskylä. The aim of the competition was to create a plan and design for a new residential area of high architectural quality with a strong identity in a highly visible place by the lakeshore in a way that respects the special character of the landscape and nature of the area while also providing an interesting element in the urban identity of the city.

The winning competition entry by OOPEAA, Käpälä, the Paw, proposes a combination of three-story buildings and up to eight stories high taller buildings arranged in a free from arrangement in such a way as to allow for views to the lake and to the southern exposure from each of the buildings.The shapes of the buildings with their diagonally angled faceted roofs depart markedly from those of the rest of the Kuokkala Shore. With their overall light color appearance they form a recognizable and unique silhouette.
Read Article


Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA receives the State Prize for Architecture

posted on December 8th 2017 in News

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

posted on December 1st 2017 in News

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


Anssi Lassila


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.


Suvela Chapel and Kärsämäki Church by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA among 12 buildings highlighted by CNN Style today

posted on November 29th 2017 in News

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.