We have updated our home page to share our thinking behind some of our most recent research projects. There is an ongoing focus on research and development at OOPEAA. It is a great a tool for creating innovative solutions and developing new ways of thinking. We are interested in exploring the potential for finding optimal solutions that support both the social and ecological aspects of sustainability while simultaneously being economically efficient in a long-term perspective.
You can find more about our research projects here.
A TOOL FOR EVALUATING SUSTAINABILITY
In recent years, our interest in finding ways to optimize the use of material and create solutions that are architectonically and technically sustainable has led to our involvement in research projects with a focus on sustainability. Most recently, we have initiated a research and development project for a web based evaluation tool to assess the impact of the material and structural choices on the ecological sustainability of a building project that could be used already in the early stages of concept design in order to help to guide the design process. The working name for the tool is Life Cycle Visualizer. The research and development project for creating the Life Cycle Visualizer tool is realized under the leadership of OOPEAA as an international collaboration. It is carried out with the support of a grant awarded by the Ministry of Environment, Finland. The grant is part of the Growth and Development from Wood Program.
More information on the Life Cycle Visualizer, a tool for evaluating sustainability can be found here.
Modular Timber Construction
At OOPEAA there is also an ongoing focus on exploring the potential of modularity and the application of mass timber as a sustainable solution to the needs of urban housing and public buildings. Since the fire regulations were changed in Finland in 2011 to allow for multi-story wooden construction, OOPEAA has been involved in developing new modular construction systems making use of timber. Working with wood and mass timber to explore its potential for developing ecologically and socially sustainable solutions to the contemporary needs of urban housing and public buildings is a key focus in the work of the office. We are also interested in developing new systems of flexibly customizable modularity.
The Puukuokka Block by OOPEAA is an illustration of the potential of a system of volumetric modules made of CLT in creating multi-story apartment buildings with a fully wooden frame and structure. The Global Concept for the Allas Sea Pool Family developed by OOPEAA is an example of applying the modular principle in a scalable concept with the capacity for flexible adaptation for sites in different parts of the world. Koota is a new wooden housing block to be built in Porvoo, a small historical city with a significant heritage of wooden buildings from the 19th century. It explores the potential of new methods of timber construction in providing a contemporary addition to the tradition of wooden housing. It creates a new solution for urban living in a way that is both ecologically and socially sustainable and promotes a sense of community amongst the residents.
For more information on our work on exploring the potential of modular timber construction, see here.
Urban Vision and Toolbox
Today, shopping centers with retail services clustered in locations outside of the city center present a challenge to the traditional understanding of the livelihood of cities as places of commerce. However, cities as urban places are really about much more than about just shopping and retail services. People need services, cafes, restaurants, offices and places of work, and above all, they need places that support social interaction, places where to meet friends, skateboard, play ball, do barbeque, and just simply to live in the everyday.
The Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center was published in the form of a book in November 2019. It provides a framework for developing the city as a socially sustainable, active and green place with a human scale. An Urban Toolbox of architectural tools specifically designed for developing the city as a well-balanced urban place is a key element of the Vision for the Future City. It provides a wide-ranging palette of tools for architectural interventions of various scales to be applied in various combinations depending on the context and the desired effect. The goal is to create a city that provides an accessible and inclusive urban place for people to live and work in and offers a richly layered and well-balanced environment for future growth.
The Vision has been deliberately formulated to serve as an inspiration rather than as a set of guidelines and instructions. It presents a library of possible alternative ways of doing things and illustrates the potential of interventions of various scales to support the city in its future growth in a way that makes it a place in which people feel good to live and work in. It aspires to inspire people to make their city the best possible place it can be.
While the vision was created to address the needs of the Seinäjoki City Center, the sixth fastest growing city in Finland, the Urban Toolbox offers a set of tools that can be applied to other cities as well. It is the result of a two-year research process of urban analysis and conceptual development realized by OOPEAA in collaboration with Gehl as an expert on matters of the social dynamics of urban public space. It was commissioned by the City of Seinäjoki. A series of three workshops gave also the citizens of Seinäjoki an opportunity to actively engage in the process.
For more information about the Urban Vision and Toolbox, see here.
The project for the New Tikkurila Church and the adjoining Bethania Housing is entering into a new phase as the construction for the housing begins. The ground-breaking for the part of the block providing affordable housing commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes was celebrated today.
The Tikkurila Bethania Housing offers a combination of student housing and apartments for affordable housing. The total number of apartments in the block will be 224 apartments, of which 162 will be for students commissioned by HOAS and 62 will be built by the Vantaa Parish. There will also be a generous array of shared spaces for the residents to use together as well as commercial spaces on the ground floor level.
The construction of the Tikkurila Bethania Housing is slated to be completed in the spring of 2021 for the new residents to move in. With the inauguration of the church planned for the Christmas time in 2020, the entire block comprising the housing and the church will be complete in the spring of 2021. The church building will offer a wide palette of services for people in the Tikkurila community. It will also provide a variety of as spaces for gathering and spending time together ranging from a cafe open to all to meeting spaces to be booked for small scale events. The main church hall will also provides a flexibly adjustable event space with a capacity to seat an audience of a maximum of 500 people.
The Bethania Housing is jointly commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes and by HOAS, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region. The New Tikkurila Church is commissioned by the Vantaa Parishes.
For more information on the Tikkurila Bethania Housing and the New Tikkurila Church, see here
The newly published book Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center provides a framework for developing the city as a socially sustainable, active and green urban place with a human scale. It is the result of a two-year research process of urban analysis and conceptual development realized by OOPEAA in collaboration with the City of Seinäjoki as the commissioning client and Gehl as an expert on matters of the social dynamics of urban public space. A series of three workshops gave also the citizens of Seinäjoki an opportunity to actively engage in the process.
You can download the book in English here
You can download the book in Finnish here
The book presents an urban toolbox of architectural tools and strategies for developing our future cities in ways that builds on the current structure of the city, draws from the historical layers of its heritage and adds a contemporary element to it. The goal is to create a socially sustainable city that provides a richly layered and well-balanced environment for future growth. The Vision and Toolbox offers a set of three strategies for interventions focused on activating the city by providing services to its citizens, on creating a coherent urban structure, and on making the city green. While the vision was created to address the needs of the Seinäjoki City Center, the Urban Toolbox offers a set of tools that can be applied to other cities as well.
The urban toolbox contains four sets of urban tools that address different aspects of the city: Urban Form, Urban Surface, Urban Green, and Urban Service. The toolset for Urban Surface focuses on interventions on the surface level of the urban structure in order to offer ways of creating an easy to navigate and pleasant experience of the city. The toolset for Urban Green offers a wide range of ways of introducing an element of green to the city center in order to create a healthy environment. The toolset for Urban Service provides ways of offering a wide range of services to the citizens in order to support well-being and a sense of community to strengthen social sustainability. The toolset for Urban Form focuses on interventions on the level of the built structure in order to create a sense of human scale in the city. These can be achieved by densifying the city structure, adding variation to the design of facades and roof geometry, applying different entrance typologies, and making use of street furniture to activate the street scape. The tools can be combined in multiple ways to create interventions of varying intensity and scale, from light and easy to implement ones to ones that demand more time and planning to execute.
Three case studies provide examples of how the urban tools can be deployed. They also identify potential areas for concentrated design interventions. These case studies are located in areas that also have the potential to connect pockets of dense urban development, activity, and historic importance. Case Study One focuses on the diversity of functions in the urban space. Case Study Two looks at the potential for activiating the city’s historical identity. Case Study Three highlights the possibilities for engaging the street as an active part of the urban social space of the city. Looking at the city with a focus on interventions that can be created with the help of the tools, the vision for future development stays intimately linked with the urban needs of the city and the well-being of its people.
For more information on the Vision for the Future Seinäjoki City Center project, see here
The Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center will be presented in the book launch event at the Apila Library in Seinäjoki on November 2019.
The Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center provides a framework for developing the city as a socially sustainable, active and green city with a human scale. The Vision is accompanied by an Urban Toolbox that offers a wide-ranging palette of different kinds of interventions specifically designed to help support the city to develop in its desired direction. The goal is to create a city that provides an accessible and inclusive urban place for people to live and work in and offers a richly layered and well-balanced environment for future growth.
Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center
November 18, 2019 at 14:00
Apila Library, Jaaksi Auditorium
Alvar Aallon katu 14
The Vision for the Future Seinäjoki City Center has been commissioned by the City of Seinäjoki, Department of Land-Use Planning and Urban Design and created by OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture in collaboration with Gehl People. OOPEAA has served as the project leader providing the architectural perspective and approach to the vision and the urban toolbox. Gehl has served as an expert consulting on matters of the social dynamics of urban public space. The Green Strategy developed by VSU Landscape Architects in 2018 has served as a valuable reference in the process of preparing the Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center.
The process of preparing the Vision for the Future Seinäjoki City Center included also a set of workshops engaging representatives of the city, experts, as well as upper school students and citizens of Seinäjoki.
We warmly thank all our collaborators for their contribution to the process! Welcome to join us in the event launching the book and presenting the Vision and Toolbox for the Future Seinäjoki City Center!
Anssi Lassila will be delivering a keynote lecture at the Aichi Wood Architecture Meeting 2019 in Nagoya, Japan. The annual Aichi Wood Architecture Meeting is an opportunity for the young professionals and students in Japan to learn about wood architecture. It also provides and important platform for building wider networks in the wood building industry in Japan as well as internationally.
The Potential of Wood as a Sustainable Construction Material
Aichi Wood Architecture Meeting
Date: 9th November 13:30 – 17:00
Venue: Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Hoshigaoka campus
Address: 17-3 Hoshigaoka Motomachi, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0802, Japan
In his lecture Anssi Lassila will share how his knowledge and many years of experience in working with wood continues to nurture his design philosophy and inspire his practice of architecture. The lecture is followed by a discussion between Anssi Lassila and Atsushi Yagi, the director of the NPO Team Timberize whose work focuses on metropolitan timber architecture and on exploring the potential of new methods for timber building.
The event is organized byKiai nokai, a group focused on matters of the future of wood architecture in Japan. This year, the event takes a comparative perspective under the theme the Future Wood Architecture in Finland and Japan.
For more information about the event in Japanese, see here
Timber! Symposium on Design Excellence in Timber and Wood brings together an international cohort of architects and engineers whose work demonstrates excellence in design and innovation specifically in wood. The symposium is composed lectures, workshops and panel discussions.
The symposium takes place at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and it is hosted by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design together with the U.S. Forest Service. All sessions are open to the public. Registration is free, but important, space is limited. For more information see here.
Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA
The Potential of Modularity: The Case of Puukuokka
Session 1 on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
120 Vol Walker Hall
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
The individual presentations by 15 invited internationally recognized architects and engineers are focused on presenting case studies in design excellence in timber and wood. They will be complemented by panel discussions each day, andthe event will conclude in a public roundtable discussion on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
In his talk, Anssi Lassila will focus on the Puukuokka Block as an example and discuss the potential of a system of volumetric modules made of CLT in creating multi-story apartment buildings with a fully wooden frame and structure. In addition to Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA, the featured speakers are Andrea Leers of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Mikkel Bøgh of Effekt, John Patkau of Patkau Architects, Sebastian Irarrazaval of Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitecto, Tanya Luthi of Entuitive, Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects, Alan Organschi of Gray, Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture, Jeremy Smith of Irving Smith Architects, Kelly Harrison of HTS Structural Engineers, and Aaron Dorf of Snøhetta.
The Timber! summit seeks to elevate the use of wood in outstanding designs by both practitioners and students, and to promote an advanced understanding of wood and mass timber to the general public. The three-day event features 15 internationally recognized architects and engineers whose designs in wood best illustrate the beauty and potential of wood in general and of mass timber specifically. By gathering these prominent designers and focusing on their expertise and experience, the symposium seeks to elevate the perception of mass timber in the design community and advance its use overall.
Anssi Lassila will be presenting a talk at the Laurentian Architecture Lecture Series at the McEwen School of Architecture on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 5:30 pm. The lecture is free and open to all.
Architecture in Wood
A lecture by Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA
October 1, 2019 at 5:30 pm
McEwen School of Architecture
85 Elm St
P3C 1T3 Greater Sudbury, Ontario
In his lecture, Anssi Lassila will address the versatile potential of wood in architecture through a presentation of select projects by OOPEAA including the Kuokkala Church, the Puukuokka Housing Block, the Suvela Chapel, and the Lonna Sauna.
The Laurentian Architecture Lecture Series was first initiated in 2018, and it presents lectures by architects from around the world. The previous editions of the series have included such architects as, for example, Gabrielle Nadeau of BIG, Michael Sorensen of Henning Larsen Architects, and Kevin O’Brian of Kevin O’Brian Architects from Brisbane, Australia.
The lecture is presented by presented by TREMCO in collaboration with the Northern Ontario Society of Architects.
Please also note that this lecture qualifies for two (2) Ontario Association of Architects Continuing Education Structured Learning Hours.
For more information on the lecture see here
The McEwen School of Architecture, also referred to as l’École d’architecture McEwen, opened in September 2013, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, is the first new school of architecture to open in Canada in 45 years. The curriculum is focused on building with wood and on the diverse cultures of the north. Francophone, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit student experience is central to the unique tri-cultural mandate of the program. Design studio focuses on design-build exercises with local communities and the program follows the co-op model of education, with work-terms in local industries as well as architecture offices. The standard focus on western traditions is tempered by the study of Aboriginal traditions, ceremony, and knowledge. Through Elders and Knowledge Carriers in residence, Indigenous faculty members, French design studio instruction, and local community-design and design-build exercises each year, students are exposed to an array of methods, knowledge, and experience that is uniquely ‘Northern’ and regional.
For more information on the McEwen School of Architecture, see here
The Taika Kindergarten by OOPEAA has been nominated as a candidate for the Wood Award / Puupalkinto 2019. The jury has selected 14 projects in total as candidates for the Wood Award 2019. The award will be announced on the Wood Day / Puupäivä on November 28, 2019 at the Messukeskus Conference Center in Helsinki.
In addition to the winner to be decided by the jury, there will also be a winner chosen by the audience through online voting. Voting is open until November 14, 2019.
You can find all the nominees and vote for your favorite one here
The Wood Award is granted annually as a sign of recognition to a building, interior or structure that represents Finnish wood architecture of the highest quality or in which wood has been applied in a way that advances research and development in construction techniques in a significant way. The prize was given out for the first time in 1994 and has since been granted annually. The prize is grant by the Wood Information Center Finland.
The Taika Kindergarten is designed with the needs and the scale of children in mind to create a place of daycare and overnight care well in line with the values of the Nordic culture. Despite the large number of children served, Taika offers a home-like scale. It provides daycare for 225 children in the ages of 1-7 and is a place of work for 50 staff members. Taika also offers overnight care for a rotating group of 200 children with a maximum of 60 children spending the night there at a time. All overnight childcare offered by the City is now gathered under one roof. Also the offices of the regional directors of early education are now all in one place, which supports their work as a team. Taika also offers shared spaces for the community to use for meetings and performances in the evening hours and weekends.
For more information on the Taika Kindergarten, see here
The PechaKucha Night is officially one of the classics of Helsinki Design Week festival program. This is 15th edition of the Helsinki Design Week. This year the theme is Learning Climate. The festival runs from September 5 – 15, 2019.
PechaKucha Night – Helsinki Design Week 2019
September 12, 2019
At 20:00 – 22:00
Fabianinkatu 14, Helsinki
Anssi Lassila will be participating in the PechaKucha Night along with other colleagues and experts of matters related to sustainability. The other speakers are architect Luke Jones, researcher and doer Jeremy Gaudibert, designer Milla Vaahtera, artist Meiju Niskala, eco-entrepreneur Anna Lehtola, sailorTapio Lehtinen, learning and co-design professionalSaara Saarinen, Professor of Future Studies Markku Wilenius, and Director of Consumer Experience Timo Ilola. The aim is to look far into the future and to find ways of creating a more sustainable tomorrow.
Working with designers who define and solve problems, the Helsinki Design Week aims to offer an open, encouraging, respectful as well as surprising climate for learning. The Learning Climate consists of not only places and spaces, but also of the communities and practices in which studying it takes place.
Tickets for the PechaKucha night are available at Helsinki Design Week’s online store at https://www.helsinkidesignweek.com/fi/events/pechakucha-night
The full program for the Helsinki Design Week 2019 can be found here https://www.helsinkidesignweek.com/programme/
Puuhi is a space for informal encounters and vibrant cultural activity in the village of Soini, Finland. Commissioned by the local people of the Ostrobothnian village, it offers a place for the community to come together in an informal and relaxed setting to enjoy music and art in the company of others. The active agent behind the project is Kyläpääskyt ry, a community association founded in 2008 by the people of Soini. They chose to ask Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA to create them a building to serve as a place in which people can come together to create, present and enjoy art and culture in its many forms ranging from music to theater and the fine arts. As a native of Soini, Anssi Lassila was a natural choice and he gladly accepted the job of creating a space of culture and community for the people of the village in which he grew up and in which he still spends his weekends and summers in a house that he has built on the grounds of his family farm.
Puuhi is built with local materials and it was realized in close collaboration with Aki Alatalo, a local carpenter with a special skill in working with wood. The foundation of the building is made of stone recycled from a former school building in the area and the building itself is entirely made of wood. The space is deliberately open and it can be adapted for many different kinds of uses. In the summer time the space can be opened up to extend out to the yard. The atmosphere of the wooden building is warm and informal and the acoustical qualities of the space are excellent. This past weekend, Puuhi served as the opening venue of the annual Soinillinen Music and Gastronomy Festival in Soini.
For more information on the festival, see https://www.soinillinen.fi/festivaali-2019