OOPEAA is part of the Finnish Olympic Design Group designing a proposal for the Winter Olympics in China in 2022

posted on April 19th 2017 in News

The Finnish Olympic Design Group is among the five finalists competing for the task of designing the Nordic Sports Park for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. The group is composed of six Finnish architecture and engineering offices along with sports experts from Finland. The final decision on the winning proposal will be announced in May this year.

The plan develops a proposal for a Nordic venue cluster that provides facilities for ski jumping, cross-country skiing and biathlon in three separate centers. It is located in the Valley of Shu Hua, a site with a unique cultural history and a population of 120 000 with the majority of the people currently living in small villages. With an emphasis on sustainability, the goal is to create a functionally efficient Olympic venue that can be transformed after the Olympics to serve the needs of the local community in the long run. The site is located about 200 km away from Beijing and it will be connected to city by a fast train.

The members of the multidisciplinary team of the Finnish Olympic Design Group are PES Architects, OOPEAA, Tengbom Eriksson Architects, VSU Landscape Architects, FCG Finnish Consulting Group, A Engineers and Lahti Events with Janne Leskinen and Marjo Matikainen-Kallström as experts on Nordic winter sports.


The moment of final countdown for the World Championships in Lahti is here

posted on February 24th 2017 in News

Just a little over one year ago, on February 19, 2016, the countdown clock for the Lahti World Championships in Nordic Skiing in 2017 was officially started. Now the moment of the final countdown is here and it is time for the World Championships in Lahti.

The countdown clock for the World Championships in Lahti was designed by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA. The clock has been counting down time to the start of the championships since February last year.

In line with the core value of the championships for Lahti, environmental responsibility, the clock is made of cross-laminated timber, CLT, and produced with local materials. It has been realized in collaboration with Stora Enso, the lead sponsor of the championships, who has provided the material for the clock, and built by students at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences and at the Salpaus Further Education.

The goal was to create a sculptural piece made of wood using Finnish knowhow and local materials. The multi-dimensional grid structure of the frame of the clock resembles that of a house of cards.The crystal-like composition also alludes to the graphic identity of the championships which takesthe multifaceted structure of a snowflake as its source of inspiration. The clock is made of the heartwood of local pine with a special oil treatmentthat improves the durability and ecological sustainability of the wood making it especially well suited for outdoor conditions.


Anssi Lassila giving a lecture at the annual Bryggman Seminar today

posted on February 10th 2017 in News

Bryggman Seminar
The Architecture of Churches
February 10 – 11, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017
Seminar 10 – 17
The Swedish Parish House
Aurakatu 18, Turku

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Excursion 10 – 16
to look at church architecture in Turku

Lecture by Anssi Lassila
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 15.30 – 17
“Four Churches, Four Tales”

Anssi Lassila will be giving a lecture under the title “Four Churches, Four Tales” at the annual Bryggman Seminar in Turku on February 10.
Resonating with the work of Erik Bryggman, the theme of the seminar focuses on the architecture of churches in modern Finland. Through presentations by Claes Caldenby, professor at Chalmers Univeristy in, Gothenburg on the work of Sigurd Lewerentz and Peter Celsing and by Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen from the National Board of Antiquities on the role of light and material in church architecture from the 1950s to the 1980s, the seminar offers a look at the history of modern church architecture. Presentations by Matti Sanaksenaho of Sanaksenaho Architects, Tiitta Itkonen of LPR Architects and Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA provide reflections on their own work on church buildings in the more recent years in Finland. Antti Pihkala, the Chief Architect at the National Church Council will talk about the trends and challenges in reformation of church architecture through the 20th century to today.

In his lecture, Anssi Lassila will tell the four tales of the four church and chapel buildings he has designed during his career, starting with the Kärsämäki Church in 2004 and the Klaukkala Church in 2005 and continuing to the Kuokkala Church in 2010 and with the Suvela Chapel completed in 2016 as the most recent example. Each of these buildings serve as important focal points and gathering places in their respective communities, and behind each of them there is a story unique to that particular community. In his talk, Anssi Lassila will share how these stories are intricately interwoven into to fabric of the buildings.

More information on the Bryggman seminar in Finnish can be found here.


Puukuokka Housing and Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA shortlisted for the 2017 EU Mies Award

posted on January 31st 2017 in News


The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced the 40 shortlisted works that will compete for the 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
355 works were nominated for the award and an expert Jury drew up the final shortlist. Two buildings by OOPEAA are among the shortlisted works: Puukuokka One, the first eight-story wooden apartment building with a load bearing frame made of massive timber in Finland, and Suvela Chapel, a multifunctional space designed to provide a place for the people of one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Finland to come together.

The chosen 40 works highlight the opportunities and the trends of today’s European territory: cities, housing, heritage and memory. A third of the works selected tackle the challenge of contemporary architecture in relation with built heritage. It is also very significant that a third of the work tackles the contemporary challenges of housing.

There are 4 works shortlisted in France, 4 in Portugal and 4 in the United Kingdom; 3 in Denmark, Spain, Finland, The Netherlands and Norway; 2 in Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Turkey; and 1 in Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden. The cities with most works are London (3), Lisbon (2), Dublin (2) and Espoo (2).
Furthermore, the Jury members underlined that the group of 40 exceptional works show a decrease in iconic architecture projects. They also highlighted the mix of uses of the works and the prevalence of Housing projects (14) and Cultural facilities (11). Education, accommodation, industry, sport, offices, landscape, mixed-use and social welfare are also present.

The five finalists will be announced in mid-February and the Winner and Emerging Winner in mid-May. The Award Ceremony will take place on 26 May 2017 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. In Barcelona, an exhibition with the 355 nominated works can already be visited at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB).


In the Puukuokka Housing Complex, a system of prefabricated volumetric modules made of cross-laminated timber (CLT) was developed as a way of making use of wood as a sustainable material in multi-story apartment buildings. The system offers a solution that is of high quality and provides for a good quality of life while also being economically affordable, energy efficient and ecologically sustainable. Puukuokka also pilots a new lease-to-own model of financing in order to support social sustainability.

See the entry on Mies Awards´website here

Find more information about the Puukuokka Housing here

Suvela Chapel

 The Suvela Chapel offers a shared space for the culturally diverse population of the Suvela community to come together in. It serves a broad range of functions, ranging from the religiously associated functions of a chapel to serving as a meeting-space, providing spaces for a daycare center and for the local youth to gather as well as for workshops and hobbies. The choice of materials, copper for the exterior cladding and spruce for the interior surfaces supports the long-term sustainability of the building.

See the entry on Mies Awards´website here

Find more information about the Suvela Chapel here

Find more information about the 40 works here

Find more information about the Jury members here

Find more information about the Mies Award here and here


Suvela Chapel featured in Architectural Record

posted on January 16th 2017 in News

The Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA is featured in the January issue of Architectural Record in an article written by Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor of Architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. 

Describing the approach of the OOPEAA to creating architecture MacKeith writes: “OOPEAA’s multiple commissions demonstrate a strong commitment to building well in the harsh Finnish climate, with distinct material quality, and within budgetary and other constraints. Copper was selected for its long, maintenance-free lifespan and its ability to clad an entire exterior, both walls and roof. … The eventual green patina over the untreated surface is seen by the architect as a desirable sign of age.”

MacKeith applauds the result of the design process for its engagement in a dialogue with the community in a series of searching conversations over many months in order to create a welcoming and accessible space. He writes: “Suvela Chapel’s fitting of form to purpose and its attention to design fundamentals achieve a dignified urban presence. The engaged process of its making, while less visible or material, is perhaps equally substantial: the built work has activated both the sacred and secular life of that community. To paraphrase the architect: in Finland, what else should a church be?”

Read the full article in Architectural Record here

More information and images on the Suvela Chapel can be found here


Puukuokka One, Suvela Chapel and Periscope Tower by OOPEAA nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017

posted on December 15th 2016 in News

Puukuokka One, Suvela Chapel and Periscope Tower by OOPEAA nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017

We are happy to announce that three buildings designed by OOPEAA have been nominated amongst the projects for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.

Launched in 1987, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is one of the most prestigious acknowledgments for European architects. Funded by the EU Cultural Programme and the Fundacio Mies van der Rohe(FMvdR) – Barcelona, the biannual prize gives credit to professionals who are developing the architectural practice through new ideas and technologies, to build better spaces and cities. (a hyperlink to Mies Foundation here?

Kärsämäki Church and Kuokkala Church were selected as shortlisted projects respectively in 2005 and 2011, and House Riihi was nominated for the 2015 award. We are glad to see the work of OOPEAA nominated once again as a candidates for the prize, this time with three projects, Puukuokka One, the first eight-story wooden apartment building in Finland, Suvela Chapel, a multifunctional space designed to provide a place for the people of one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Finland to come together, and Periscope Tower, a giant wooden periscope structure that with the help of a large mirror serves as an observation tower engaging the viewer in a dialogue with the landscape in a way that is accessible to all.
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Suvela Chapel receives honorary mention in the HURRAA Awards in Espoo

posted on December 12th 2016 in News

OOPEAA’s Suvela Chapel receives an honorary mention in the annual HURRAA Awards in Espoo

The Building Board and the Building Department in Espoo have awarded the Suvela Chapel with an honorary mention in the 2016 HURRAY Awards.

The HURRAA award is a recognition for a notably successfully realized and meaningful action that has a significant impact on the built environment. The award is given out annually. It was established in 2014 and will be given out for the third time this year.

The HURRAA awards were given in a ceremony on December 9 at 13:00. The ceremony took place at the Espoo City Building Department at Kirkkojärventie 6 B, 2. Floor.

More information on the HURRAA Awards in Finnish here.

Suvela Chapel

With roughly one third of the inhabitants being of foreign descent, Suvela is one of the most multicultural districts in the Helsinki metropolitan region. Cultural diversity is both a rich potential and a challenge to the community. In the design for the Suvela Chapel and the adjacent community park, the goal was to create a building that offers opportunities for a rich variety of activities and provides a framework for the residents to come together in a flexibly adaptable and functional space.

The chapel offers an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. It is a meeting place that serves members of the parish and other groups of people in the community alike. While the height of the building varies greatly with the chapel hall as the tallest part, all functions are placed on just one level, and the building wraps into a single U-shaped entity forming an intimate interior courtyard in the middle. The belfry is embedded in the main building volume providing further closure to the yard.

The main chapel hall with its auxiliary spaces is located in the north-east part of the building. Offices and workspaces for the parish staff along with additional meeting spaces are located in the middle part. Spaces for children and the youth as well as spaces rented out to the community park are located in the west part of the building. The spaces occupied by the community park face outward to the park. All other spaces open to the interior yard.

The building is a hybrid structure with wooden as well as concrete and steel elements. The presence of wood is most prominent in the tall chapel hall where the walls are covered with wooden scantlings. The exterior shell is entirely clad in copper to emphasize the unity of the varied volume of the building.

More information and images on the Suvela Chapel here.


Anssi Lassila at the launch of Modular & Volumetric Building System by Stora Enso in London

posted on December 7th 2016 in News

Anssi Lassila as speaker at the launch of Modular & Volumetric Building System by Stora Enso in London today

Launch of Stora Enso’s Modular Building System 

6.00 pm – 10.00 pm, WednesdayDecember 7, 2016

Haberdashers Hall, 18 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9HQ


Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA Puukuokka: An Example of the Use of Modular Systems in Multi-story Apartment Buildings

Paul Williamson, Managing Director of Modular Construction, Swan Homes Investing in Modular Construction – the Future for Volumetric Homes 

Gareth Mason, Business Development Manager, Stora Enso Modular Element Buildings by Stora Enso – designing for modular construction

Stora Enso is launching their Modular & Volumetric Building System in London today. Welcome drinks will be served from 6.00 pm and followed by short presentationand panel discussion looking at typical design and engineering methods for Modular and Volumetric building and relevant case studies. Presentations will be followed by a drinks & canapés in the Gallery.

The guest speakers at the launch event are Paul Williamson, Managing Director of Modular Construction at Swan Homes, who will share Swan’s vision for the future of modular construction in the UK and Anssi Lassila, Founder and Director of OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture, based in Helsinki and Seinäjoki, who will discuss the innovative Puukuokka Housing Block which was completed in 2015 using Stora Enso Modular CLT units. Panel discussion will include guests from Ramboll and Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects.

Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions. Their aim is to replace non-renewable materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. The Group has some 26 000 employees in more than 35 countries, and is publicly traded in Helsinki and Stockholm.

Please note:  Places are limited. A separate registration must be completed for each guest here. 



ANSSI LASSILA of OOPEAA is lecturing at the Wood Architecture Days in Tallin and in Helsinki

posted on November 7th 2016 in News

November 9 – 10, 2016
Kultuurikatel, Black Box
Põhja puiestee 27a
Tallin, Estonia

Lecture by Anssi Lassila
Wood in Architecture: From Handcrafted Methods to Prefabricated Materials
November 9, 2016
At 16:30 hours

November 10, 2016
Wanha Satama
Pikku Satamakatu 3-5
Helsinki, Finland

Lecture by Anssi Lassila
New Wood Architecture
OOPEAA: Recent Projects in Wood: Periscope Tower, Suvela Chapel, Pihapetäjä Apartments in Joensuu, and others
November 10, 2016
At 9:00 hours in Hall A

Wood Architecture Conference in Tallin is organized for the tenth time this year. It brings together top architects and engineers from around the world who have stood out with innovative use of wood in their works. Wood is sustainable, lightweight, strong and easily manufactured material. Wood is a very traditional construction material. However, it is also one of the most innovative construction materials today. Using wood is a challenge to both architects and engineers. The conference seeks answers to such important topics as acoustics and fire safety in timber buildings, the use of long span wooden structures, CLT solutions, wooden facades, etc. The Annual Wood Architecture Award ceremony takes place during the conference. The conference is organized by Estonian Association of Architects, Estonian Association of Construction Engineers, Estonian Association of Forest Industries, and Wood Information.

The speakers at the conference include Stefan Mannerwitz from Karakusevic Carson Architects, Dave Lomax from Waugh Thistleton Architects, and Timothy Snelson from Arup, all based in London, and Martin Vahtra from Projects Design Associates based in New York, Rainer Strauch from Cree Gmbh in Germany as well as Sten Ader from SKAD Architects and Sille Pihlak & Siim Tuksam from PART, both from Estonia. Wolfgang Winter is from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, Richard Harris from the University of Bath, UK, Eero Tuhkanen from the Tallin Technical University, Estonia, and Rait Pukk from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences.
Tallin: http://puidukonverents.ee/en/

The National Wood Architecture Day in Finland provides a meeting ground for hundreds of professionals in the field of architecture and building industries interested in the research and development regarding all aspects of the use of wood in architecture and construction. There are two sessions running in parallel throughout the day with presentations on current themes of topical interest in the field of wood architecture in Finland and beyond. The National Wood Architecture Day is organized by Wood Information.

This year the international presenters include Patrick Thurston from Switzerland, Helmut Spiehs of Binderholz Bausysteme from Germany, Liam Dewar of Eurban Limited from London, Sandra Frank of Folkhem from Sweden, and Stefan Mannewitz of Karakusevic Carson Architects from London.
Helsinki: http://www.puupaiva.com/ohjelma

The program in Helsinki concludes with the award ceremony for the Wood Architecture Award. Puukuokka Housing Block, Part One by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA was selected the winner of the award in 2015.

The Periscope Tower by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA was nominated for a candidate for the Wood Architecture Award this year.


OOPEAA participates in a Nordic research and development project on Sustainable Transformation and Environmental Design, STED

posted on November 1st 2016 in News

The Nordic Built – Sustainable Transformation and Environmental Design, STED is a three year long project with the aim of developing new tools for the use of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) as a way to evaluate the sustainability of architectural design projects from the early design stages on.
The STED project provides a Nordic innovation platform for developing new design solutions and design processes for construction, renovation and transformation. Using ICT
for decision support and combining energy efficiency, environmental design and lifecycle thinking, the
aim is to develop innovative and generalizable system design solutions and design methods to create sustainable buildings.

The project was initiated by the Technical University of Denmark DTU in 2015 and it is now reaching its mid point. 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 in Sweden, Studio Granda from Iceland, and OOPEAA from Finland. The project is coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark DTU and it is funded by a Nordic Innovation grant. The project consortium consists 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 research group convenes this week in Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss the findings of the research this far and to evaluate the progress of the joint project.
Participation in the STED project is an important part of OOPEAA’s research and development in exploring the possibilities of the use of wood in architecture, particularly, but not limited to, in providing sustainable solutions in housing and construction. The goal is to develop new tools for assessing the lifecycle ecology of a project from the early design stages on to help determine the best possible solutions.

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