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.