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.