A New Book by OOPEAA Presents an Urban Toolbox for Developing Sustainable Cities with a Human Scale

posted on November 26th 2019 in News

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


Welcome to the Seinäjoki Vision and Toolbox book launch on November 18, 2019!

posted on November 12th 2019 in News

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.


Book launch

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 Lecturing in Nagoya, Japan on November 9, 2019

posted on November 7th 2019 in News

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.


Anssi Lassila

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





Anssi Lassila speaking at the Timber! Symposium on Design Excellence in Timber and Wood in Arkansas, US on October 4 – 6, 2019

posted on October 2nd 2019 in News

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 lecturing at the Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada on October 1, 2019

posted on September 30th 2019 in News

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





posted on September 26th 2019 in News

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


Anssi Lassila at the PechaKucha Night at the Helsinki Design Week 2019

posted on September 11th 2019 in News


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


The full program for the Helsinki Design Week 2019 can be found here


Puuhi, the New Community Space in Soini is Now Open

posted on June 18th 2019 in News

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




The OOPEAA Seinäjoki Office is moving

posted on May 31st 2019 in News

On June 1, 2019 the OOPEAA Seinäjoki Office is moving to new premises in a central location in downtown in Seinäjoki. The new space is on the street level and features large windows opening to the street. That allows the work of the office to take on a visible presence in the life of the city. It also makes it possible for the office to actively engage with the city around it.


The new location of the office is well in line with the work that OOPEAA is currently doing on developing the vision for the future Seinäjoki city center. One of the guiding principles of the vision is the goal of activating the center. This shall be done by building a balanced mix of a variety of uses from residential to services, and from offices to spaces for retail, restaurants and cafes along with a street scape that supports walking and bicycling and creates an enjoyable environment of green spaces and places to spend time in both indoors and outdoors in the downtown area of the city.


The central downtown location of the new office also offers a valuable opportunity to connect with the history of the city. From the new OOPEAA office one has a view to the Southern Ostrobothnia Civil Guard Headquarters building (Suojeluskuntatalo), the first public work of Alvar Aalto, built in 1924-1926 in the neoclassicist style of the 1920s with features from functionalism and from local Ostrobothnian building traditions.


The new address of the OOPEAA Seinäjoki Office is


Kauppakatu 19 A



We welcome you to informally drop by to visit us in the new premises!



KOOTA Wooden Housing Block by OOPEAA wins the competition for Porvoo West Bank

posted on May 8th 2019 in News

The proposal Koota developed by OOPEAA to be realized in collaboration with the Tila Group wins the competition for a new wooden housing block to be built in the West Bank of Porvoo, a small historical city with a significant heritage of wooden buildings from the 19th century. Located on a river delta by the coast in southern Finland, Porvoo offers great quality of life and a small town atmosphere within a convenient commuting distance from the metropolitan Helsinki. Koota seeks to provide a contemporary addition to the tradition of wooden housing in the growing city of Porvoo. 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.

An Urban Village

The composition of the Koota block is designed around the concept of an urban village. The scale is at once deliberately urban, yet not very high in density. It provides a sense of community while also emphasizes strong links to the surrounding context of the city. Building a sense of continuity with the existing urban structure Koota facilitates the growth of the city in a way that maintains the small town identity of Porvoo. The block is composed of several buildings that together form a village-like whole. It provides a varied mix of residential spaces, shared communal facilities, commercial and office space, and open outdoor areas.

The scale of the buildings varies from smaller townhouse-like buildings and row houses to multi-story apartment buildings bringing a range of different kinds on living together in a lively and multifaceted neighborhood that serves a community of people of different ages from single dwellers to families. The buildings lining the street are low and long. There are taller apartment buildings placed in the interior part of the blockas well as townhouses and row housed with a smaller scale that offers an opportunity for a less urban style living with a private yard space attached to each unit. The ground floors are activated to facilitate a lively urban community. On the street side there are spaces reserved for various kinds of commercial activity from office spaces to cafes and retail spaces. On the courtyard side there are communal facilities for shared use by the residents, including a sauna, a workshop space for fixing bikes, laundry facilities as well as spaces for meetings and hobbies. In the interior courtyard there are generous open garden spaces for the shared use by the residents.


The apartments range from duplex apartments with lofts in the upper floors to more traditional apartments on just one floor and to atelier-type apartments with two floors and a direct access from the yard. Each apartment has a balcony or a small yard of its own. The balconies form an intermediary zone mediating between the public and the private. Through the balconies the daily life is also present in the image of the block adding its own color and character to it. They also provide shading to shelter the interior spaces from too much direct sunlight.


The varied roof shapes give the buildings character and give the block a clearly identifiable architectural expression and a unique identity of its own. The roof scape intentionally creates an association with the traditional picturesque wooden towns linking the block with the historical heritage of the city of Porvoo. While the shapes of the roofs take reference from those of the Finnish tradition of building in wood, they have been realized with a fresh modern touch making use of contemporary methods and in a way that responds to the needs of today’s dwellers.


A Modular Structure of Mass Timber

All buildings in the Koota block have a CLT-based structure of massive wood and the façade material is also wood. The primary load bearing structure in all buildings is composed of prefabricated volumetric modules with all walls, flooring and ceilings made of CLT. Also the elevator shafts as well as the flooring of the hallways are made of CLT, while the foundations and the basement level are of concrete. The structural solution is based on volumetric modules made of CLT. All piping for water, air and electricity is integrated in the wall between the individual apartment units that come fully prepared from the factory and the hallway that is constructed on site. This makes it possible to keep the CLT-modules clean during the construction phase as well as to update, change and repair the system without any need to gain access into the apartments. 

The use of prefabricated volumetric modules made of CLT is both economically efficient and ecologically sustainable. The technique of building with volumetric modules is based on the principle of making use of the potential of an advanced level of prefabrication under controlled conditions in a factory. It makes it possible to cut down the on-site construction time bringing significant savings in the cost construction. It also makes it possible to control the humidity and moisture during the process of production and preparation of the modules and helps to minimize the noise and dust caused by the construction site.