Sep
20

Villa Koivikko Featured as House of the Month in the Architectural Record

posted on September 20th 2021 in News

The renovated and restored Villa Koivikko, a landmarked residence designed by Aarne Ervi in 1958, is featured as the House of the Month in the September 2021 issue of the Architectural Record. 

In the project to renovate the villa, ”Our starting point was to celebrate the beauty of Ervi’s architecture, then to add to the complex in a way that would meet the needs of the current owners and their lifestyle” Anssi Lassila describes in an interview for the Architectural Record. The brief given by the new owner of the villa was to make it a place where the family could relax while he focused on his work as an author in a new, separate writer’s studio. His only requirement was that any new buildings had to be of the same high caliber as the original villa and the caretaker’s house.

The main villa of reinforced concrete, brick and iroko wood was restored and partly renovated, and three new wooden buildings including a writer’s studio, a freestanding car shelter, and a sauna, were added to complement the villa. The caretaker’s house, part of the original design by Ervi, was also renovated and a geothermal heating system was built to provide an energy efficient and ecologically sustainable way of heating.

Located on a forested lakeside hill just outside Helsinki, the villa is used by its new owners as a second home all year-round. The name Koivikko means “birch grove”. 

Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA is the architect in charge of the restoration, renovation and extension of the Villa Koivikko. Studio Petra Majantie acted as the interior architect and client’s representative on the project. The project was carried out under the supervision of the landmark authorities. The landscape design was developed in close partnership with VSU Landscape Architects. The cabinetry and wooden detailing for the project was realized by Punavuoren puuhevonen.

To read the full article written by Wendy Moonan on the Architectural Record, see here

To learn more about the project for the renovation of the Villa Koivikko, see here.

Sep
09

Tikkurila Church and Housing Nominated for the EU Mies Award 2022

posted on September 9th 2021 in News

The Tikkurila Church and Housing by OOPEAA has been nominated for the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award Mies Award.

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have today announced the list of works nominated for the 2022 EU Mies Award. 85 works from 73 different towns and cities completed between October 2020 and April 2021 now join the previous group of nominees announced on 2 February. The full list of nominated projects comprises altogether, 532 works completed between October 2018 and April 2021 in 41 countries. Altogether 10 works from Finland have been nominated for the 2022 EU Mies award.

The works have been nominated to the EU Mies Award 2022 by European independent experts, the national architecture associations, and the Prize advisory committee. The nominated projects will be reviewed by a demanding jury of distinguished professionals with different backgrounds who will evaluate all the works in a holistic approach, from their conception and construction phases to their final use by the people.

The schedule for this edition of the prize has been adapted in response to the international concern about the global situation situation with the pandemic to ensure the safety, rigor, and excellence of the evaluation of all the projects. Correspondingly, also the timeframe for the completion of projects eligible for nomination has been extended and the nomination process has taken place in two stages. The shortlist of 40 will be announced in January 2022, and the winners will be announced in April 2022. The Award ceremony will take place in May 2022.

All designed as one complex, the Tikkurila Church, the Bethania Apartments, and the student housing, form one unity with a diversity of functions to serve the residents of Tikkurila, one of the fastest growing and ethnically diverse areas in the metropolitan region of Helsinki. As part of the transformation and densification of the downtown area of Tikkurila, the formerly administrative block has now been turned into a multifunctional complex that offers a rich variety of functions from affordable housing, student housing, and retail space along with the church.

The personal experience of people has been an essential starting point for the architecture of the Tikkurila Church and Housing. Human scale, accessibility, and life cycle sustainability have been central guiding principles in the design. With its lively multicolored brick façade and sculptural shape, the church takes on a strong presence on the town square and forms an identifying landmark for the neighborhood.

The scale and volume of the block is at once compact and variable. The steeply angled pitched roofs with glazed burnt brick form an important part of the identity of the block. The sloping roof also makes it possible to create variability to the apartments allowing for duplex units on the upper floors. The apartments range in size from studios to family apartments. There is a generous array of shared spaces including saunas, roof terraces, laundry facilities, gathering spaces, and bike storage. In the choice of materials, longevity plays an important role. Burnt brick is the main material used in the exterior. In the interiors of the church, concrete and wood create an interesting dynamic. The chosen materials will acquire a beautiful patina over time. 

For more information about the EU Mies Award and the complete list of nominated works for the 2022 award, see here.

For more information about the Tikkurila Church and Housing, see here.

Aug
29

JOKOTAI Material Impact Screener Now Ready for Use

posted on August 29th 2021 in News

OOPEAA JOKOTAI is a free online tool for comparing the environmental impact of building materials in the early stage of the design process.

The JOKOTAI Material Impact Screener provides an early assessment tool that makes it possible for designers, clients and all parties involved in the early decision-making process of a building project to better comprehend the impact of alternative material and structural choices on the sustainability of the project. It is a user friendly, web-based platform that enables communication and visualizes sustainability issues in a comprehensible manner. It makes it possible for architects to quickly sketch the building volume of a preliminary design and to compare the environmental impact of alternative material choices to support the early decision-making process. 

After a two-year development process, the beta version of the tool is now finally ready to be shared and tested. It is openly accessible and free to use. During the initial research and development phase, the working name for the tool was the Life Cycle Visualizer. We are thankful for the comments from all our test users who generously devoted their time for testing the tool during the development period.

To use the tool, go here.

To learn how the tool is used, you can watch an introduction video here.

The biggest share of the total embodied energy in construction comes from production. As architects, it is our responsibility to make informed choices to keep the environmental impact as low as possible. Screening the environmental impact of your design early on can lead to significant reduction of CO2 emissions and to remarkable savings in energy demands. The JOKOTAI tool makes it possible to compare the impact of alternative material choices before nailing down the decision regarding the materials to be used in a new building project under design. 

The tool focuses on screening the CO2 emissions produced, and the energy needed, during the production phase of a building project. It also visualizes the carbon storage in your building design, gives detailed information about different material properties and breaks down the impact into easily understandable bar graphs. The calculation method and sources are made visible to support the learning process and to provide full transparency. The OOPEAA JOKOTAI is designed for laptop or desktop display size.

The JOKOTAI tool is about visualizing and making transparent basic information regarding a building project. The name JOKOTAI is based on the Finnish words “joko – tai” meaning “either – or”. JOKOTAI is not intended as a tool for providing a complete life cycle analysis. Instead, the goal was to create a web based tool to be used in the early stages of design prior to having made decisions that at a later stage will make it possible to perform a full life cycle analysis. 

The JOKOTAI Material Impact Screener has been developed by OOPEAA in partnership with the Obayashi Corporation with support from the Growth and Development from Wood Program coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Finland. 

To learn more about the OOPEAA JOKOTAI Material Impact Screener, see here.

Jul
01

Anssi Lassila giving a lecture at the International Congress of Architects in Budapest on July 2, 2021

posted on July 1st 2021 in News

Anssi Lassila is giving a lecture at the International Congress of Architects held in Budapest on July 2, 2021. The theme of the conference is Which Past Leads to Our Future. It seeks to explore how past experiences and traditions could be employed to address current concerns in innovative ways to build on in shaping the future to come. The curators of the conference program also ask how this can be done in dialogue between the architect and the client in a way that fosters mutual respect and understanding as a basis for creating something new and valuable.

  • Anssi Lassila
  • Drawing from the Tradition to Create New Solutions for Today and Tomorrow
  • Lecture at 14 EST
  • Which Past Leads to Our Future
  • International Congress of Architects
  • All-day conference program starting at 9 EST
  • Budapest Opera House, Eiffel Workshop 
  • 1101 Budapest, Kőbányai út 30.
  • Hungary

The lineup of speakers consists of an international array of architects and thinkers of high caliber from the United State and Europe. In addition to Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA, the featured speakers are Charles Renfro of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Attilio Terragni of Studio Terragni, Michael Dennis of MIT, and Miklos Marosi. The introductory lecture is by Peter Magyar, who has served as the professional advisor and chair for the conference.

The all-day conference event is organized in partnership with the Association of Hungarian Architects with the support of the National Cultural Fund. The main sponsor of the event is Saint-Gobain Hungary Kft.

For registration and for more information on the conference, see here.

Jun
29

Tikkurila Church and Housing featured in the June issue of the Finnish Architectural Review

posted on June 29th 2021 in News

The Tikkurila Church and Housing is featured in the June 2021 issue of the Finnish Architectural Review dedicated to theme of Sacred Space

The Tikkurila Church, the Bethania Apartments, and the HOAS student housing form one unity with a diversity of functions serving the residents of Tikkurila, one of the fastest growing and ethnically diverse areas in the metropolitan region of Helsinki. Located in the vicinity of the Helsinki Vantaa airport, Tikkurila is an important center of industry and business in Vantaa. The Tikkurila Church and the adjoining housing are part of the transformation and densification of the downtown area of Tikkurila. The block that used to house the offices of the Vantaa parishes has now been turned into a multifunctional complex that offers a rich variety of services and amenities.

In his review of the project, architect and professor Pentti Kareoja describes the Tikkurila Church and Housing by OOPEAA as a weave of the sacral and the profane. Recognizing that the Tikkurila Church is Anssi Lassila’s fifth church design, Kareoja notes that Lassila’s church buildings “constitute a coherent, thematic arc of architectural expression.” Describing Lassila’s work, he continues: “In all the churches, a thoughtful range of materials and finishing details are brought together by an exceptionally sensitive understanding of the qualities of the location. The profane and the sacral shake hands.”

In the case of the Tikkurila Church, the notion of the sacral and the profane shaking hands is particularly appropriate as the church is integrated into a residential block and accompanied by an office wing as well as an apartment building also designed by OOPEAA with Anssi Lassila as the architect in charge. Noting how the deliberate simplicity of the design of the apartment building serves to support the hierarchical position of the church as the main star of the sculptural composition of the block, Kareoja writes: “The role of the office wing and residential buildings connected to the church is to act as the accompanists to the whole, a sort of profane drag on the chasuble. The details and spatial layout of the apartment buildings are devoid of any attention-seeking.” 

With its lively multicolored brick façade and sculptural shape, the church takes on a strong presence on the town square in the heart of Tikkurila and forms an identifying landmark for the neighborhood. The multifunctional church building houses a range of flexibly adaptable spaces to accommodate a variety of uses. In its maximum capacity, the main church hall seats an audience of 500, and it is possible to divide the space to allow for multiple simultaneous activities. The building provides workspace for approximately 140 employees and offers several meeting spaces of various sizes to serve the community. There is also a café and a children’s corner. The inner courtyard binds together the church and the housing and provides a pleasant space for gatherings.

The construction of the Tikkurila Bethania Housing was completed in April 2021 and the new residents are already settling in. The construction of the church was completed in December 2021 and the inauguration of the church took place in January 2021. The Tikkurila Church was commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and realized as an alliance project together with the Vantaa Parishes, OOPEAA and Lujatalo. The Tikkurila Housing was jointly commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and by HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region. It offers a combination of student housing and apartments for affordable housing. In total there are 244 apartments in the complex, of which 162 are for students and 62 are affordable rental housing. 

For the full article in the Finnish Architectural Review, see here.

For more information and images on the Tikkurila Church and Housing, see here

Jun
23

Building permit granted for Hamnbad Stockholm, a floating structure with public space, spas, saunas and pools

posted on June 23rd 2021 in News

The Stockholm City Planning Office has granted a building permit for Hamnbad Stockholm, a floating structure with public space, spas, saunas and pools to be built in Munkbrohamnen in Riddarfjärden in downtown Stockholm. The architecture of the project is based on the Architectural Global Concept created by OOPEAA for the Allas Sea Pool family developed by the Nordic Urban Ltd. 

Hamnbad Stockholm extends the urban public space in the heart of the city by introducing a new structure over the water. Taking the Architectural Global Concept for the Allas Sea Pools as its basis, it combines the experience of contemplation on nature and healthy physical activity with the social aspects of life in a city. It is located in downtown Stockholm between Munkholmen, a part of town that traditionally has served as a key node for gathering and trade, and Riddarholmen, a place with a long history of outdoor bathing facilities. 

The project is slated to be ready to welcome bathers and citizens to enjoy all-year-round outdoor swimming, sauna, and the shoreline views in the heart of the city in 2023. With several outdoor pools, saunas as well as a combination of spaces that are freely open to the public and several flexibly adaptable spaces to be used for a range of activities, Hamnbad Stockholm will provide a new platform of public space in the city and activate the relationship of the city with the sea in a new way. The Hamnbad is easily accessible by various means of public transportation, including the pendle boats, as well as by foot, bicycle, and car. 

The Hamnbad offers versatile views into the historical city, towards Riddarholmen and Riddarhuset, Slussen, Södermalm and Monteliusvägen, as well as onto the water towards Lake Mälaren. The orientation of the floating structure is designed to maximize sunlight during different times of the day.

With its compact structure, the Hamnbad harmoniously takes its place in the landscape. The height of the two-story building has been carefully adjusted to line up with the height level of the bridges and to stay low in order not to disturb the sightlines and the skyline of the city. The color scale of the wooden structure has been carefully designed to work in dialogue with the buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. The form and the volume of the structure have been arranged to work in the relation to the silhouette of the city in the background, and the size has been tailored to fit harmoniously in the overall landscape of the area. The materiality of the wooden structure creates a pleasant and lively place that activates a previously under-utilized spot in the city. 

The structure will be made of CLT modules. The modules will be prefabricated and prepared to minimize the need for onsite work. They will be brought to site ready to be plugged in. The size of the modules is designed so that they can be transported onto the site by waterways through the Hammarbyslussen. 

The building permit is a ten-year permit for a temporary structure. After the ten-year period, it is possible to move the structure to an alternative site if it is so desired. The modular wooden structure has been intentionally designed to accommodate disassembly and transportation over waterways to a different site for re-assembly. 

Hamnbad Stockholm is part of the Allas Sea Pool family, and it is a product of collaboration between Nordic Urban Ltd, Bluet Ltd, and several other operators. The development, construction, and operations of the Hamnbad Stockholm will be privately financed. However, in addition to providing the citizens as well as visitors with new amenities and a new way to enjoy the element of water in the city, it is anticipated that the Hamnbad will also generate significant revenues to the city through its operations. 

For more information and images on Hamnbad Stockholm, see here.

For more information about the Global Concept for the Allas Sea Pool family, see here.

Jun
08

Anssi Lassila is speaking about saunas at the London Festival of Architecture on June 8, 2021

posted on June 8th 2021 in News

The London Festival of Architecture celebrates London as the global hub for architecture. This year, the festival focuses on the theme of ‘care’. Presenting a lively and diverse programme of public events both in various destinations across London as well as online, it runs from 1-30 June, 2021.

During the pandemic, public interest in understanding health and physical resilience has exploded. Sauna bathing, outdoor swimming, cold water immersion and breathwork, are examples of activities that have attracted a lot of attention as activities with health improving potential.

In an event organized by the British Sauna Society, a panel of four architects, designers and writers will explore the relationship between our built environment and wellbeing. In a discussion under the title “New Architecture of Wellbeing – Sauna for the Rescue” renowned sauna architects and designers share their views and experience on the topic. The panel addresses questions regarding the potential of the role of architecture in supporting these age-old wellbeing rituals in the contemporary world.

  • Anssi Lassila
  • The Architecture of Saunas Today – Building on a Long Tradition
  • Panel Discussion
  • The New Architecture of Wellbeing – Sauna for the Rescue
  • June 8, 2021 at 18:30 (GMT+1)
  • London Architecture Festival – Online

Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA will be joined in the panel by Christie Pearson (CA), author of “The Architectures of Bathing – Body, Landscape, Art”, Jane Withers (UK), leading design consultant, curator, and writer Mikkel Aaland (US / NO), author of “Sweat” and TV series “Perfect Sweat”. The panel discussion is moderated by Wendy Liu and Mika Meskanen.

The panel discussion is held online. For more information on the event, see here.

The event is free. However, registration is required to attend. For tickets and booking, see here.

The London Festival of Architecture began in 2004, and has since grown to become the world’s largest annual architecture festival. The festival attracts a vast public audience – well over 800,000 people in 2019 – and a global media audience of millions.

For more information and the full program of the London Architecture Festival 2021, see here.

May
14

Anssi Lassila is speaking at THE PLAN Forum Perspectives on Architecture and Interior Design on May 18-19, 2021

posted on May 14th 2021 in News

Anssi Lassila is participating in a panel discussion on the Art of Transformation in the Perspective Virtual Forum on Architecture and Interior Design on May 18-19, 2021. The event is organized by THE PLAN.

  • Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA
  • The Art of Transformation 
  • Panel Discussion 
  • Perspective Virtual Forum on Central and Eastern Europe 
  • May 18 at 6 pm CET 
  • online 

Exploring design strategies for shaping interactions and redefining spatial boundaries and functional programs, the panel is chaired by Thorsten Helbig, Co-founder of Knippers Helbig. Anssi Lassila, Founder and Director of OOPEAA will be joined in the discussion by Philip Samyn, Founder of Samyn and Partners, and Giuseppe Farris, Founder of Studio Farris.

The panel discussions are free and open to the public. However, registration is required to attend online as audience.

For registration, please go here.

The Perspective Virtual Forum features a rich programme of one-to-one face-to-face business meetings and virtual conferences with prime speakers focusing on contemporary trends and up-to-date topics in architecture and design. It is the second online event in the series of the Perspective Virtual Forums organised by THE PLAN.

A program of panel discussions addressing current issues in architecture and involving leading figures in architecture and design on an international scale will open and close each day of Forum. The panel discussions feature a rich array of participants including Dietrich|Untertrifaller, JOI-Design, A10 Architects, Berger+Parkkinen, OOPEAA, Samyn and Partners, Studio Farris, KWK Promes, Powerhouse Company, Hadi Teherani, Ippolito Fleitz Group, Studio Modijefsky and INNOCAD architecture.

For more information on the event and a detailed program, see here.

For a recent interview of Anssi Lassila on the use of wood in architecture for a sustainable and technological future published in THE PLAN Magazine, see here.

Apr
28

Villa Koivikko is featured in the April issue of the Finnish Architectural Review

posted on April 28th 2021 in News

The restored and renovated Villa Koivikko is featured in the April issue of the Finnish Architectural Review dedicated to theme of Tradition and Renewal. 

Villa Koivikko is a landmarked masterpiece of modernism from the 1950s originally designed by Aarne Ervi, one of the key figures in shaping the functionalist movement in Finland. In the project, the modernist villa and the caretaker’s house by Ervi were carefully restored and three new wooden buildings designed by OOPEAA were added to complement the brick buildings from 1958. In its current restored and renovated form, the Villa Koivikko provides a balanced combination of the best qualities of modernist architecture from the 1950s and the comfort of contemporary wooden buildings. 

The project is particularly timely at this moment in time. It addresses the challenge of taking care of the heritage of modern architecture. The masterpieces of modernism are now gradually reaching an age that calls for restoration and care. New solutions are needed to allow the buildings designed in the post war era to meet the needs of their contemporary users. True to its original intended nature as a place of relaxation, the renovated complex of Villa Koivikko now offers an excellent place for withdrawing from the busy life of the city and for contemplation and concentration in peace and quiet surrounded by nature.

The boldly experimental modernist villa by Ervi was designed to represent the forward looking ideal of the modern times and it was equipped with the most advanced technical systems of the time. Many of the newly developed technical solutions and materials embraced by Ervi in the 1950s, however, have now come to the end of their performance. Despite the material and technical deterioration over time, the buildings by Ervi have not lost their strong aesthetical appeal. The contemporary additions by OOPEAA highlight the special qualities of Ervi’s original design. With a strong character of its own, OOPEAA’s design enters into a dialogue with Ervi’s modernist architecture and opens new ways of experiencing it. Embracing the relationship between architecture and landscape, OOPEAA’s design provides a new sense of balance to the experience of the estate. 

What is common to both Ervi and OOPEAA is their interest in exploring the qualities of materials and in experimenting with new building techniques as well as their skill in working with the relationship between the building and its surrounding landscape. However, what distinguishes them from each other is the material palette and their attitude towards natural building materials and traditional building methods. OOPEAA is known for their keen interest in the natural qualities of materials and for their skill in bridging tradition with the contemporary. The aim was to integrate the new buildings seamlessly into the composition of the landscape as an integral part of it. In their architecture, the new buildings do not mimic the language of the existing buildings, nor do they intend to stand in discord with it. Instead, they create a dialogue of contrasting elements and open new ways of seeing and experiencing the relationship between the landscape and the buildings. 

To read the article on the Villa Koivikko in the Finnish Architectural Review, see here.

For more information on the Villa Koivikko, see here.

Feb
02

Villa Koivikko Nominated for the Mies Award 2022

posted on February 2nd 2021 in News

The restoration and renovation project including the addition of three new buildings by OOPEAA to the Villa Koivikko, a landmarked masterpiece of modernism has been nominated for the 2022 edition of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award.

The project for Villa Koivikko addresses the challenge of taking care of the heritage of modern architecture and responds to the quest for new solutions that allow the modernist buildings to meet the contemporary needs. It is an excellent example of how new buildings can successfully be added to the context of a historically and architecturally valuable landmark. It creates something entirely new while simultaneously complementing the existing architecture and helping it maintain its functionality in face of the changing times.

Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA is the architect in charge of the restoration, renovation and extension of the Villa Koivikko. The project was carried out under the supervision of the landmark authorities. The interior design was skillfully executed by Perta Majantie who also served as the client’s representative on the project and played an important role in the work. The landscape design was developed in close partnership with VSU Landscape Architects. The role of the Punavuoren puuhevonen as carpenters to realize the cabinetry and wooden detailing for the project was also significant in contributing to the successful end result.

In the project, the modernist villa and the caretaker’s house by Aarne Ervi, a respected master of functionalism in Finland, were carefully restored and three wooden buildings were added to complement the brick buildings from 1958. Following a detailed study of the original drawings, the landmarked buildings were restored, and the technical systems updated. The living space in the caretaker’s house was expanded and a new geothermal heating system was installed. The built-in garage was replaced by a free-standing car-shed, a new sauna was built in place of the old one, and a writer’s studio was built on top of the old stone cellar.

The new buildings have a strong sculptural character, and their material qualities highlight the modernist buildings. With their natural materials, dark outer shell, pitched roofs and traditional building methods, they stand in stark contrast to the strong horizontal lines, white surfaces, flat roofs and modern building techniques of Ervi’s buildings. Clad with traditional tarred shingles, the new car-shed and the writer’s studio take on a strong presence. Yet, treated with dark natural paint or tar, they withdraw from the center of attention almost blending in with nature. Highlighting the exposed structure, the light color of spruce in the interiors gives them a sense of warmth. The detailing is either of steel with a black matte finish, or of copper. The sauna is built with logs with a tailormade joint and has a green roof. Embracing the relationship between architecture and landscape, OOPEAA’s design provides a new sense of balance to the experience of the estate.

For more information on the Villa Koivikko, see here.

For more information on the projects nominated for the Mies Award 2022, see here.

For the Mies Award 2022 nomination of the Villa Koivikko, see here.