OOPEAA is leading a series of invited workshops together with Gehl People to develop the vision for the future Seinäjoki City Center. The first workshop took place on January 24, 2019. It was organized around the theme of goals, visions and hopes with the topic of “How do we live in the future Seinäjoki?”. The morning session was held with city officials and the afternoon session with upper school students giving both groups an opportunity to actively engage in thinking about the future development of their city. This first workshop day will be followed by a second set of workshops later in the spring with the topic of “Building the city”. The workshops will be complemented with additional focus meetings with restricted groups during the spring.
The goal is to develop a vision for the future Seinäjoki city center and to create a spatial strategy for a holistic development of the city. The city of Seinäjoki is one of the fastest growing urban areas in Finland. In this period of growth, the central parts of the city have a great potential to offer in developing the city in a way that can help make the entire city of Seinäjoki more liveable, attractive and connected.
The center of Seinäjoki is characterized by a unique combination of assets with strong potential: The Cultural Center with the theatre, library, the Lakeuden Risti Church and the administrative center with the town hall, all originally designed by Alvar Aalto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, forms the cultural core of the city. The new library designed to complement Aalto’s original library provides s an important place of active civic life for the citizens of Seinäjoki from young to old. The train station and the travel center connect to city effectively by public transportation to the surrounding regions, and the parkland and greenery along the river that runs through the city offer a great opportunity for enjoying the outdoors even in the very center of the city. Together all of these elements provide a great starting point for creating a vision for a sustainable and liveable city in the future.
OOPEAA in collaboration with Gehl is working together with the City of Seinäjoki to create a strategic vision for the urban development of the Seinäjoki City Centre. The collaborative process helps to envision the future spaces in the city center and to test ideas together in order to create a shared framework for guidelines for the future development of the Seinäjoki centre. In order to translate the vision into a tangible tool for action, a toolbox will be created to provide a set of guidelines and alternative solutions to be applied for the future development of the Seinäjoki City Centre.
The strategic vision and the toolbox that facilitates its implementation will be developed in a series of workshops together with representatives of the City. In creating the vision, design and communication go hand in hand. OOPEAA acts as the lead coordinator and the main designer of the project and Gehl People offers their expertise in analysing the spatial dynamics of the urban life on the streets and public spaces. The Urban Planning Department of Seinäjoki supports in the organization of the workshops and in facilitating the communication in order to help involve stakeholders and locals in the process.
ARA, Center for Funding and Development of Housing has chosen the Puukuokka Block as the recipient of the Best ARA Square Meters of the Year Award 2019. The award is granted by ARA and given out annually for a project providing affordable housing of high quality with a special attention on the long-term sustainability of the building over its entire life span. The Puukuokka Block is recognized as a unique and exemplary building project that paves way for a new approach to the construction of housing in the future.
This year, 2019, marks 70 years of funding for loans by ARA for building affordable housing. The award is given out in the annual ARA Day Seminar held on January 15, 2019. This year the seminar celebrates the anniversary of the loan granting activity of ARA.
For more information on the seminar program, see here.
The Puukuokka complex offers homes for 184 households from single dwellers of all ages to families with children. Finished in 2015, Puukuokka One was the first eight-story high wooden apartment building in Finland. Puukuokka Two was completed in 2017, and Puukuokka Three in August 2018. With the completion of Puukuokka Three, the energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wooden apartment buildings forming the Puukuokka Block is now complete. The Puukuokka housing has been extremely well received by the residents who praise it for creating a comfortable living environment with an excellent framework for a friendly and socially stable neighborhood.
Puukuokka explores the potential of modular prefabricated CLT construction to provide environmentally responsible and affordable housing of high quality. Puukuokka attempts to make the best possible use of the technical and aesthetic qualities of CLT and to create a wooden building in large scale with a distinct architectonic expression of its own. The block also pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities.
The concept for the application of volumetric CLT-modules to create multi-story apartment buildings with a loadbearing structure entirely made of wood was developed in collaboration with Stora Enso. The Puukuokka project was commissioned by Lakea and it was realized in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä. The goals set for creating an innovative concept for an ecologically and socially sustainable concept for multi-family housing were exceedingly well met and the project was realized within the set budget framework and schedule.
For more information on the Puukuokka Block, see here.
Anssi Lassila lecturing at the Forum for Wood Construction in Trondheim on January 10, 2019
The Puukuokka Housing Block
Thursday, January 10 at 15:30 – 16:30
Forum for Wood Construction
Clarion Hotel & Congress – Trondheim
Anssi Lassila will be giving a talk at the Forum for Wood Construction in Trondheim on January 10, 2019. The lecture will address the experience of using volumetric CLT modules in multi-story apartment buildings with a focus on the Puukuokka Block in Jyväskylä, Finland as an example. Puukuokka is a trio of energy efficient and ecological multi-story apartments with a wooden frame and load-bearing structure made of CLT. Competed in 2015, Puukuokka One was the first eight-story wooden apartment building in Finland. The entire Puukuokka Block was competed in 2018.
The Forum for Wood Construction is a two day event organized by Tekna / NITO and it is held at the Clarion Conference Center in Trondheim on January 9-10, 2019.
Anssi Lassila has been invited to give a lecture at the CLT Forum Japan 2018 in Tokyo. The Forum is an annual event organized by the Japan CLT Association, JCLTA, and this year it will be held for the 6th time. The goal of the Forum is to increase knowledge about the use of CLT in architecture and construction in Europe and in Japan amongst professionals in the fields of architecture, design, construction and research.
In his lecture titled “Better Life” Anssi Lassila will be sharing his experience in using wood in architecture with the goal of creating a framework for a good life. Anssi Lassila will present a range of works from buildings that make use of the traditional Nordic log structures built by handicraft skills to projects that develop new ways of making use of the potential of CLT in creating sustainable solutions for future living and urban life.
CLT Forum Japan
December 12, 2018
Place: Bersalle Kanda, 7 Kanda Mitsuyorocho cho, Chiyoda ku, Tokyo (Sumitomo Real Estate Kanda building 3rd floor)
The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation in Japanese.
In previous years, the guest lecturers have included Andrew Waugh (Waugh Thistleton Architects, UK), Kristen Slavin (PATH Architecture, US), and Yukiharu Takematsu (EPA , Japan) in 2017, and Gerhard Schickhofer (TU Graz, Austria), Isao Sakamoto (Honorary professor of Tokyo University) in 2016.
For more information about the CLT Forum Japan (in Japanese), see here.
OOPEAA has just received a grant from the Ministry of Environment, Finland for a research and development project to create a Life Cycle Visualizer. The grant is part of the Growth and Development from Wood Program by the Ministry of Environment, Finland. OOPEAA’s Life Cycle Visualizer is one of the eleven projects to be supported by the grant.
The Life Cycle Visualizer will provide an early assessment tool for evaluating the impact of material choices on the sustainability of a building. The tool 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 in a particular location for a particular volume on the sustainability of the project, and to communicate about it in an easily understandable, visual manner.
The intention is not to create a tool for providing a full life cycle analysis. Instead, the goal is to create a web based visualizing 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 proper life cycle analysis.
The Life Cycle Visualizer tool is about visualizing and making transparent basic information regarding a building project:
– Embodied energy (measured in CO2 emissions)
– Baseline for operative energy (measured as average energy needed
– The overall life cycle (including the aspect of the recyclability of the material/building at the end of the life cycle of the building)
OOPEAA will carry out the research and development project together with an international team of test users and key collaborators.
The Life Cycle Visualizer project builds on OOPEAA’s earlier experience as a participant in the STED program, a three-year Nordic collaboration project on sustainable transformation and environmental design supported by the Nordic Built grant for Innovation to provide a Nordic innovation platform for developing new design solutions and design processes for construction, renovation and transformation.
For more information on the grant program supported by the Ministry of Environment, Finland can be found in Finnish here.
More information on the Life Cycle Visualizer can be found in this PDF.
We are happy to announce that two buildings designed by OOPEAA have been nominated amongst the candidates for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2019.
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 – 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.
We are glad to see the work of OOPEAA nominated once again as candidates for the prize, this time with two projects, the Lonna Sauna, a contemporary public sauna made of hand-carved logs on the Island of Lonna just a ten-minute ride away from the very center of Helsinki, and the Taika Kindergarten, a space designed with the needs and scale of the children in mind to create a place of daycare and overnight care well in line with the values the Nordic culture.
The work of the office has been nominated also in several previous editions of the prize. In 2017, Puukuokka One, the Suvela Chapel and the Periscope Tower were all three nominated for the award, with Puukuokka One and the Suvela Chapel both included in the final shortlist of 40 projects for the 2017 award. Kärsämäki Church and Kuokkala Church were selected as shortlisted projects respectively in 2005 and 2011, and House Riihi was nominated for the 2015 award.
Lonna Sauna, which opened to the public in 2017, offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city and its busy everyday. Situated on the small island of Lonna just a ten-minute boat ride away from the Central Market Square in Helsinki, it gives a contemporary expression to the tradition of public saunas in Finland and provides a chance to enjoy the special bathing experience offered by the wood heated sauna in the Finnish archipelago.
With views framing the silhouette of the city on one side and opening towards the see on the other, the compact 190 m2 sauna is built with masterfully handcrafted wooden logs that are left untreated. It has a sculptural pitched roof in zinc plate. Heated with wood-burning stoves the Lonna Sauna recreates the calm and almost sacred feeling of the traditional Finnish sauna, while placing it in a new, contemporary architectural frame. The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. A terrace directly accessible from the sauna rooms as well as from the outdoor shower space bridges the sauna with the seashore.
You can find more images and information about the Lonna Sauna here.
The Taika Kindergarten building is carefully designed with the needs and the scale of children in mind in order to provide them an experiential and friendly space. Taika opened its doors to serve Seinäjoki families in January 2018, and it has been well loved by the staff and the children alike since the beginning.
Despite the relatively large number of children served (225 children in daycare and up to 60 children in overnight care at a time), Taika offers a home-like scale. Taking its cue from the Ostrobotnian traditional barn in the open field, Taika is shaped like a large barn. Yet, it is colorful and full of light and its star-shaped plan serves to provide rhythm and to create a sense of a home like scale. With its flexibly adapting naptime spaces, its highly practical foyer areas equipped to deal with the challenges brought along by the Nordic weather and the high demands it poses on handling children’s outdoor clothing, as well as the pockets of loosely separated outdoor areas each with its own porch to provide shelter from rain and to serve children of different age groups, the Taika Kindergarten is a great example of the contemporary Nordic approach to the design of kindergarten buildings.
You can find more images and information on the Taika Kindergarten here.
The Taika Kindergarten opened its doors to serve Seinäjoki families in January 2018. Like a barn from the outside, Taika is colorful and full of light, and loved by the staff and the children alike.
The Taika kindergarten is now in the middle of its first fall season. It was completed just at the end of last year and it welcomed its first pupils in the very first days of January this year. The new kindergarten has been extremely well received by the children, their families and the teachers and educators alike. After having experienced the winter with a lot of snow and the unusually warm and sunny summer in the new premises, the little pupils are now eager to see how the kindergarten with its yard adapts as the season changes yet again.
The building is carefully designed with the needs of children in mind in order to provide them an experiential and friendly space. The star-shaped plan serves to provide rhythm and to create a sense of a home like scale in a building designed to provide childcare for a relatively large number of children. Taika offers childcare for 225 children between ages of one and seven as well as a place of work for 50 staff members. Taika also serves families with parents with shift work schedules offering overnight care for a rotating group of 200 children with a maximum of 60 children spending the night in the kindergarten at a time. This means that all overnight childcare offered by the City of Seinäjoki to its residents is now gathered under one roof.
Taking its cue from the Ostrobothnian traditional barn in the open field, Taika is shaped like a large barn. Yet, it is colorful and full of light. With its flexibly adapting naptime spaces, its highly practical foyer areas equipped to deal with the challenges brought along by the Nordic weather and the high demands it poses on children’s outdoor clothing, as well as the pockets of loosely separated outdoor areas each with its own porch to provide shelter from rain and to serve children of different age groups, the Taika Kindergarten is a great example of the contemporary Nordic approach to the design of kindergarten buildings.
For more information on Taika, see the project presentation here.
With Puukuokka Three having gotten ready to welcome its new residents in August this year, the energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wooden apartment buildings forming the Puukuokka Block in the Kuokkala suburb in Jyväskylä is now complete. The Puukuokka housing has been extremely well received by the residents who praise it for creating a comfortable living environment with an excellent framework for a friendly and socially stable neighborhood.
Completed in the spring of 2015, Puukuokka One was the first eight-story high wooden apartment building in Finland. Puukuokka Two was completed in 2017 and Puukuokka Three in August 2018. In its entirety the Puukuokka complex offers homes for 184 households from single dwellers of all ages to families with children.
The Puukuokka buildings explore the potential of modular prefabricated CLT construction to provide environmentally responsible and affordable housing of high quality. Puukuokka´s solution makes the best possible use of the technical and aesthetic qualities of CLT and creates a wooden building in large scale with a distinct architectonic expression of its own.
Puukuokka served as a pilot case to develop and test a CLT based system of volumetric modules. The entire load bearing structure and frame of the Puukuokka buildings is made of massive wood and composed of prefabricated volumetric CLT modules. Each apartment is composed of two modules, one housing the living room, the balcony and the bedroom, the other housing the bathroom, the kitchen and the foyer area. The block structure combines the sense of privacy of single-family dwellings with the semi-public character of the shared spaces of an apartment building. The vision is to provide the residents with a functional space that is rich in experiential qualities.
The block also pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities.
For more information on the Puukuokka Block, see here.
Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
at 12-13 pm
Habitare Pro is a professional event for design, architecture and spatial design practitioners and enthusiasts taking place concurrently with the Habitare furniture and design fair at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 12 to 14 September in 2018. Habitare Pro presents an exhibition, an international program, and a B2B event with pre-arranged appointments.
The themes of the Habitare Pro Invited Speakers program touch upon matters that play a significant role in the creative work of architects and designers: origin, authenticity, reflection, context, roots and the relationship between man and nature.
In his lecture, Anssi Lassilla will talk about the many different ways in which the aspect of roots is relevant to him in his work as an architect. He will discuss the creative process behind his work through reflections on four perspectives: human, time, experience and material.
Other speakers in the program include Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård of Tham & Videgård, Minna and Matti Lukander, of Talli Architecture and Design Office, Rainer Mahlamäki, of Lahdelma Mahlamäki Architects, Eero Lundèn of Lundén Architecture Company, and Noel Kingsbury, a designer, writer and teacher from Great Britain.
For more information on Habitare Pro, see here.
“Kolmen kerroksen väkeä”, Upstairs – Downstairs, Living Together on Three Levels, the proposal by OOPEAA and Lundén Architecture Company wins the design and build competition for an apartment block in the new district of wooden housing in Kivistö, Vantaa in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The proposal is to be realized in collaboration with Reponen Oy as the contractor and Taaleri Vuokrakoti Ky as the developer with the design phaze to start immediately now in September 2018.
The competition for new wooden housing in Kivistö was organized by the City of Vantaa. The decision to create a new wooden housing district in Kivistö is part of the commitment by the city to promote construction in wood in order to provide climate conscious development of housing. The goal is to provide a comprehensive housing offer to satisfy the needs of the diverse population in the fast growing newly developing areas in Vantaa in a way that supports a sense of community for citizens committed to ecological values and green spaces. The competition brief also asked to address the needs of bicycling, traffic safety and the inclusion of art as part of the identity of the neighborhood.
The competition asked for joint entries with two architecture offices, a contractor and a developer for one or both of the two plots allocated for the competition in the Kivistö area which is currently under planning. The minimum required gross floor area for each of the two plots is 7 500 m2, with a total of 15 000 m2 for the two plots together.
Among the many interesting and highly qualified proposals, the entry by OOPEAA and Lundén Architecture Company, Upstairs – Downstairs, Living Together on Three Levels, was chosen as the winner for the plot number two. The proposal takes as its starting point the dual character of the location of the site. One the one hand, located next to a small forest area with a rare population of flying squirrels living in it, the site offers a connection to nature. On the other hand, the adjacent ring rail station serving the area just 500 meters aways makes the neighborhood easily accessible. The winning entry by OOPEAA and Lundén Architecture Company proposes a multifaceted block of wooden apartment housing with an active street level, a multiplicity of communal green spaces both in the inner court yard as well as on the roof terraces of the complex, and a well balanced mix of a variety of different types of apartments ranging from relatively narrow two-story town-house-like apartments to duplexes with individual access directly from the street on the ground level, to apartments with a belt of balconies on the third and fourth floors, and to family size apartments with terraced balconies on the top floors.
Each apartment has its own individual temperature control with access for maintenance in the hallway, and special attention has been paid to the design of balconies in order to make sure that the apartments have a good balance of light and shade to provide for an ideal living environment. On the green roofs there are photo voltaic panels to provide energy, and the landscaping of the yard supports the collection of storm water and allows for recycling of the water for the maintenance of the greenery in the block. A special bridge provides a connection between the block and the small forested area next to it.
Wood is used as a prominent material in the block. The facade facing the street is of charred wood giving it a dark color while on the interior courtyard side the color palette is of lighter shade with accents of orange, yellow and red.
For more information on the proposal, see here.
For more information on the competition, visit the competition page here.