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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ARABIAZZA(S) offers a vision to redevelop the historic Arabia block into a new urban district

posted on October 27th 2016 in News

Arabiazza(s) offers a vision to redevelop the historic Arabia block into a new urban district. The proposal was developed by a team led by Anssi Lassila and composed of OOPEAA working in collaboration with Lundén Architecture. Gehl Architects acted as an expert in matters of urban public space. Arabiazza(s) was developed for an invited competition organized by Varma Oy with the City of Helsinki and the Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA. 
Arabiazza(s) was one of the four projects selected for the 2nd stage of the two-stage competition.

Arabiazza(s) takes the rich temporal layers of the urban fabric in the continuously evolving process of change in the city as its starting point. Through a series of four open public squares it creates an environment that supports a multiplicity of functions engaging a broad range of people from local residents of different ages to students of the two academic institutions in the area, to people working in the offices in the neighborhood to tourists and visitors staying at the hotel or simply coming by to enjoy the cultural offerings of the design center or the restaurants of the beer garden.

Through a combination of new buildings, renovated old buildings and the preservation of protected historical landmark buildings, the goal is to create a sustainable urban environment that supports the long term development of a balanced neighborhood with a varied mix of people and a rich diversity of functions. By introducing a sequence of four open public squares supported with more sheltered indoor spaces that facilitate urban public life, the aim is to turn the block into one of the most interesting parts of the district and indeed the city. The goal is to create a vibrant neighbourhood in which the multiplicity and layering of different functions creates a framework for the diversity of urban life and forms a place that is alive at all times of the day and though the seasons in the Nordic climate.

Click here for more info and images.

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posted on October 26th 2016 in News

The construction of Puukuokka Two on site has started. 

The Puukuokka apartment complex is getting a new addition. Puukuokka Two will soon be making company to Puukuokka One which was completed in the spring of 2015. 

When completed, the Puukuokka wooden apartment block in the Kuokkala neighborhood in Jyväskylä will be composed of three wooden multi-story buildings. The on site construction of the second part of the trio, Puukuokka Two has now started. The expected date on completion for Puukuokka Two is set for spring 2017.

Like Puukuokka One, Puukuokka Two will be composed of CLT. With a fully wooden load-bearing frame, the seven-story building will make use of the modular system developed when designing Puukuokka One. With slight modifications it will utilize the same principle of using prefabricated volumetric modules produced locally in Hartola just two hours away from the site. Each apartment unit will be composed of two prefabricated volumetric modules that are then plugged in onto the central hallway constructed on site. As in Puukuokka One, each apartment unit will feature its own sauna and a balcony. The sizes of the units will range from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom apartments.

The façade materials will follow the concept of Puukuokka One with untreated larch on the side facing the interior courtyard and with dark coated spruce on the side facing the street. 

Puukuokka Two will contain 70 apartment units. The apartments are offered for private ownership using the lease-to-own model piloted in Puukuokka One. It allows the one to purchase the apartment with only 7 % downpayment and then gradually acquire full ownership through rental payments over a period of 20 years, with an option to sell the unit even prior to reaching the full 20 years. The lease-to-own model supports local sustainability through encouraging long term commitment to the building complex while offering within the block a variety of different types of units to correspond to the changing needs of the inhabitants in their life.



ANSSI LASSILA of OOPEAA lecturing at Egurtek International Forum – Bilbao

posted on October 17th 2016 in News

Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA is lecturing at the Egurtek International Forum of Architecture and Construction in Wood in Bilbao

Egurtek International Forum of Architecture and Construction in Wood – 6th Edition

Bilbao Exhibition Centre – Conventions

October 20th – 21st, 2016

Thursday, 20 October from 10:00 to 18:00 

Friday, October 21 / from 10:00 to 14:00

Lecture by Anssi Lassila

“Wood and Modularity in Architecture Today”

October 20, 2016 / at 16:15 

Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA has been invited to give a lecture at the 6th Egurtek International Forum of Architecture and Construction in Wood in Bilbao. In is talk, he will discuss the potential of pre-manufactured CLT based modular construction to provide high quality homes that are environmentally responsible and affordable. The Puukuokka apartment building by OOPEAA will serve as an illustrative example of this potential. Completed in 2014 / 2015, it is the first 8-storey wooden apartment building in Finland. It is composed of volumetric CLT modules as the load bearing structure and has a fully wooden frame. 

Egurtek International Forum of Architecture and Construction in Wood is a forum for gathering information about timber architecture and construction. It is a biannual event and it is organized for the 6th time this year. The program features presentations by renowned architects from the Iberian Peninsula and abroad. Their addresses and talks provide an educational, visual presentation of the works that they have designed and built in wood.

Egurtek has become an unmissable event for architects and engineers and all those professionals of the industry who have connections with wood. Through this Forum, more than fifty professionals of international prestige have presented their work and shared their experiences with all those attending the Forum.

The Forum offers a conference program with first-rate international speakers. This year the speakers include Shigeru Ban, Michael Green, Mónica Rivera and Emiliano López, Tudor Radulescu, and Juri Troy, as well as Fernando Tabuenca and Fermín Leache, Gorka Elorza, and Jordi Fargas from the Spanish scene.

For a full program and more information on the conference, click here. 

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