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. It has been well received by the residents and all of its units are now occupied. The first tenants were welcomed to make their home in the building this summer. Pihapetäjä is the first of three multi-story wooden apartment buildings to be built in the block over time.
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.
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.
In response to an identified need in the area for studio apartments of relatively spacious character as well as for three room apartments with an efficiently arranged layout, Pihapetäjä is organized around these two apartment types. All units, including the smallest ones, have a retracting balcony. This has made it possible to create a glazed semi-public zone between the exterior and interior of the building. The retracting balconies also afford the apartments with generous views into the surrounding forest landscape.
In the heart of the building there is a spacious hallway that gets wider towards both ends. The building services engineering is integrated in the walls between the apartment units and the hallway. The central hallway was finished on site while the apartment units were built with prefabricated volumetric modular elements prepared in a controlled factory environment. The studios are composed of one element each and the larger units of two elements each.
Research and Development for the Use of Wood in Building
With several pilot projects for stadiums, large hall spaces and for office buildings, 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. As part of the ongoing research project, information on the residents’ experience of living in the building will be collected over a ten-year period of time. Also technical data will be collected and monitored over time with the help of sensors installed in the building. This information will be used to assess the long-term effects of wood on the quality of life and of the performance of wood as a material in large-scale buildings over time.
Alongside with the Foundation for the Promotion of Karelian Culture also the Karelia Institute and the University of Eastern Finland were partners in the development phase of the Pihapetäjä project.
More information on Pihapetäjä on OOPEAA website here or on Puulehti here.
Anssi Lassila will present a lecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design lecture series.
Scale, Light and Material
Monday, September 11, at 4:30 pm
Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall
Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall
University of Arkansas campus
In his lecture, titled “Scale, Light and Material,” Lassila will present several works by his office, from his first project, the Kärsämäki Shingle Church, to some of the most recent ones, as a way of demonstrating how the aspects of scale, material and light serve as key elements of architecture in his work.
The lecture is the Miller Boskus Lack Architects Lecture in Wood Design and Construction and the 2017 Dean’s Lecture in Nordic Architecture, in promotion of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
Drawing from his extensive experience in working with wood in architecture, Anssi Lassila discusses the material qualities of wood and the ways in which they find expression in defining the structural framework of a building. Special attention is given to exploring the potential of wood as a sustainable solution in architecture and construction.
New techniques and new ways of handling wood as a material for building open up new possibilities in flexibly customized standardization today, for example through the use of a modular system of prefabricated volumetric elements of cross-laminated timber in creating multi-story wooden apartment buildings. However, the lessons that can be learned from the age-old tradition of working with wood continue to offer us a valuable source of information and inspiration in exploring new solutions. In his lecture, Anssi Lassila will also reflect on how the Nordic values and sensibilities get expressed in his architecture.
The Fay Jones School of Architecture is pursuing continuing education credits for the lecture through the American Institute of Architects.
The public is invited to attend. Admission is free, with limited seating.
For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or fayjones.uark.edu.
The ninth annual Spotlight Prize will be awarded to OOPEAA. Founder and Director Anssi Lassila will visit Houston on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 to accept the prize and give a lecture at The MATCH, Houston at 7 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance (RDA) Prize celebrates the work of emerging architects from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. This award highlights the work of exceptionally gifted architects at an early stage in their professional careers. This year the Board of Directors of the Rice Design Alliance unanimously selected OOPEAA as the 2017 Spotlight Award recipient in full recognition of the outstanding and inspiring work of the office.
In his lecture Anssi Lassila will share his thoughts on architecture and on the process of creating architecture. He will present a selection of the work of the office from its early years all the way to the present day as a way of illustrating how his thinking about architecture and the values behind the work of the office are reflected in their buildings.
Find more information on the Spotlight Prize 2017 here and here
The Suvela Chapel has been chosen as the winner of the Accessibility Award of the Year 2017 awarded by the Espoo Disability Council.
The Accessibility Award was established in 2014 and it has been awarded annually since then making this the fourth time it was given out. The award aims to recognize a service, company, community, realized idea, person, building or activity in the city of Espoo that has made a significant contribution to making services accessible to us all and to facilitating easy physical access to them.
This year there were 14 nominations for the award. The Suvela Chapel was chosen the winner, and the Kino Tapiola, the Sello Shopping Center and the transportation service of the Espoo Disability Services received honorary mentions. The award was given out by Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo in the Espoo Day celebration on August 25, 2017.
The Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA was commissioned by the Espoo parish union and it is used jointly by the Parish of Suvela, the Swedish Parish of Suvela, and the City of Espoo. It offers an easily approachable and accessible space with a human scale and an inviting atmosphere. It provides a home base for many different organizations forming a dynamic place of activity. It is a meeting place that serves the entire community.
The chapel is centrally located in Suvela and it is easily accessible by public transportation. Accessibility has been carefully considered in the design and realization of the building. All functions and services are placed on one level and there is easy access from the chapel lobby to the spaces for the youth as well as to the spaces used by the community park and the kindergarten. The activities and services provided by the chapel also reflect a commitment to accessibility in the multicultural community. The staffis helpful and dedicated to creating an atmosphere that promotes accessibility and openness.
The chapel with its the adjoining community park was inaugurated in September 2016 and it has been well received by the community.
For information on the Accessibility Award in Finnish, see here.
For more information on the Suvela Chapel, see here and here.
The shortlisted works for the European Copper in Architecture Awards have now been announced, and the Suvela Chapel by OOPEAA in Espoo, Finland is one of them. The Chapel is a multifunctional building that offers a space for the people of the community to use together for their many different needs regardless of their religious affiliation.
OOPEAA embarked on the design and planning for the Suvela Chapel and the nearby community park in 2012 and the building was completed in 2016. The goal was to create a building that has a strong identity of its own while also entering in dialogue with the multicultural context of its suburban neighborhood. The Suvela chapel was commissioned by the Espoo Parish Union and it is used jointly by the Espoo Parish Union, the Swedish Parish of Espoo and the City of Espoo to serve the entire community of Suvela.
The chapel offers an approachable and welcoming space with a human scale and an inviting atmosphere. The building serves many functions and provides a home base for many different kinds of organizations. Since it was inaugurated in September 2016, it has provided a dynamic place of activity for the inhabitants of all ages in the neighborhood. It is first and foremost a meeting place that serves members of the parish and other groups of people in the community alike.
For more information on the Suvela Chapel, click here.
European Copper in Architecture Awards is a biennial showcase celebrating architectural design of buildings that incorporate copper or copper alloy in cladding, roofing or other architectural elements.
More information on the European Copper in Architecture Awards here.
You can vote for your favorite among shortlisted buildings. The voting is open until 31 August. To vote for the Suvela Chapel, click here.
The ninth annual Spotlight Prize will be awarded to OOPEAA. Founder and Director Anssi Lassila will visit Houston on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 to accept the prize and give a lecture at The MATCH, Houston, at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance (RDA) Prize celebrates the work of emerging architects from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. This award highlights the work of exceptionally gifted architects at an early stage in their professional careers. The RDA Spotlight committee convenes annually to consider local, national, and international architects who demonstrate design excellence and promise a great design future. Since its inception the Spotlight Prize has been awarded to such architects as Sou Fujimoto (Japan), Anton Garcia Abril (Spain), Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile), and LA Dallman (U.S.A.) among others. Last year’s award recipient was the Barcelona and Mexico City office of Cadaval & Sola Morales.
This year the Board of Directors of the Rice Design Alliance unanimously selected OOPEAA as the 2017 Spotlight Award recipient in full recognition of the outstanding and inspiring work of the office.
Anssi Lassila is the founder and principal of OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture. His international breakthrough was the Kärsämäki Shingle Church in 2004 after which he quickly gained a distinctive position among young Finnish architects. His architecture displays an interest in combining a sculptural form with traditional materials and innovative techniques. Lassila has extensive experience in working with wood in architecture. In his approach he emphasizes the potential embedded in exploring new methods and techniques as a means of developing new solutions in building. OOPEAA works on a wide range of projects on varying scales from churches and daycare centers to housing and town planning as well as extensions to historically valuable landmarks.
The Rice Design Alliance is a non-profit organization formed within the Rice School of Architecture in 1972 and dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of its award-winning journal Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, and active programs to initiate physical improvements.
Find more information on the Spotlight Prize here
Lonna Sauna in the Helsinki archipelago and Suvela Chapel in Espoo are open for visitors during the OpenHouse Helsinki events on May 19th and 20th. Welcome!
Suvela Chapel tour
Friday, May 19, 2017, 14:00
Address: Kistintie 24, Espoo
Meeting point: main entrance of the Chapel
The tour will be in English
Lonna Sauna tour
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 12:00
Address: Lonnan saari, Helsinki
Meeting point: at the Lonna dock at 11:30
The island of Lonna can be reached on a waterbus operated by JT-Line. The tour starts at the JT-Line dock (Cholera Basin) at the Market Square at 11:30.
The tour will be in English
OpenHouse Helsinki is an event that opens up doors for visitors to experience places that normally are not available to the public. It organizes guided walks in fascinating interior spaces, interesting parts of the city as well as tours of old and new architectural points of interest.
More information about OpenHouse Helsinki events here
The Suvela Chapel is located in Suvela, Espoo, in one of the most multicultural districts in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. Cultural diversity is both a rich potential and a challenge to the community. Attention to the needs of the culturally diverse community is a core principle in the Suvela Chapel. The goal was to create a multifunctional building that offers opportunities for a rich variety of activities and provides a framework for the residents to come together in a flexibly adaptable space.
The Chapel is a dynamic place of activity that serves the entire community and provides a home base for many different organizations. With the adjoining community park, it plays a key role in helping to improve the social sustainability of the neighborhood. The choice of materials, copper for the exterior and spruce for the interiors, supports the long-term sustainability of the building.
More info about the Suvela Chapel 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. 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 city on one side and opening towards the see on the other, the Lonna Sauna brings together the calming and peaceful effect of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.
Heated with wood-burning stoves the Lonna Saunaoffers an authentic bathing experience characteristic of the traditional Finnish sauna, while placing it in a new, contemporary architectural frame. The compact sauna building is made of masterfully handcrafted wooden logs that are left untreated. It has a sculptural pitched roof in zinc plate. The large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. A terrace directly accessible from the sauna rooms as well as from the outdoor shower space bridges the sauna with the seashore.
More info about Lonna Sauna project here.
The Lonna Sauna by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA will officially open to the public next week.
We are happy to welcome the summer with the opening of the Lonna Sauna to the public. We invite you to enjoy the special bathing experience offered by the wood heated sauna in the Finnish archipelago just in front of the Helsinki Market Square.
The Lonna Sauna will be open daily 14-19 throughout the summer starting on May 16,2017.
The Lonna island is accessible by a waterbus by JT Lines from the Cholera Basin on the Helsinki Market Square (see waterbus schedule here).
A press preview will take place on Friday, May 12 at 10 o’clock.
The Lonna Sauna by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA 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.
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 sits in the context of a group of old historical structures built during the Russian rule in the 19th century.
The compact 190 m2 sauna building is built solely with natural materials. It is made of masterfully handcrafted wooden logs that are left untreated. It has a sculptural pitched roof in zinc plate. Heated with wood-burning stoves the Lonna Sauna 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 a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. A terrace directly accessible from the sauna rooms as well as from the outdoor shower space bridges the sauna with the seashore.
Images available upon request at end of the May.
For more information on the Lonna Sauna, visit the OOPEAA news page at oopeaa.com.
Read the full article on the Lonna Sauna here.
A Nordic Perspective on Architecture
Thursday, April 27 at 18:00
Josefine gate 34, Oslo
Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA and Konrad Milton of Jägnefält Milton will be lecturing at the Oslo Architects Association (OAF) in their lecture series on the present and future of the Nordic perspective on architecture. Anssi Lassila will be providing a Finnish perspective on the topic while Konrad Milton will offer a Swedish one. They will each talk about the ways in which the Nordic tradition gets reinterpreted and transformed into a contemporary expression in their architecture. The parallel presentation of the work OOPEAA and Jägnefält Milton provides an exploration into the contemporary practice of architecture in northern Europe, re-interpreting the heritage of the “Scandinavian tradition”. The lectures of the two speakers are followed by Q-A with the public and the architects.
This year the OAF lecture series invites its speakers to reflect on the permanence, interpretation, transformation and evolution of the Scandinavian tradition in today’s architectural practice. On the fringe between rural and urban, the contemporary Nordic architecture is defining a new approach towards architecture and urban planning. Working with both innovative and vernacular materials, it seeks to both understand and challenge the strong minimalistic tradition of Nordic design. In the lecture series, iconic Nordic offices, Scandinavian architects with an office based abroad and young upcoming firms from Northern Europe are invited to present their sense of architecture and belonging through their “Nordic” projects in different contexts and at various scales.
As part of their cultural program for the benefit of their architect members, students, and the general public, the OAF hosts lectures and events on a regular basis. The aim is to maintain a rich discussion on local architecture as well as to broaden the reflection on architecture as a discipline through international examples, both in terms of practice and theory.
Some of the recent speakers in the lecture series organized by the OAF include Shigeru Ban (2016), COBE (2016), Raumlabor (2016), Iñigo de Viar (2015), Grafton Architects (2015), Dominique Perrault (2014), Charles Renfro (2013) and Peter Zumthor (2012).
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.