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COBE and Lundén Architecture Envision Transformation of Helsinki's Töölönlahti Bay into "Citizens' Park"

COBE and Lundén Architecture, the Danish-Finnish collaboration that has previously worked together on Tampere's Transport Hub, has revealed a plan to revitalize the Töölönlahti bay area in central Helsinki. Completed for the Finnish creative marketing agency N2, the proposal is a vision of what the area could become after a century of broken promises to clean up the polluted and underutilized area of the city. On their website, N2 estimates that the project would require an investment of €120 million, and if taken up by the government could be completed in time for the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence in 2017.

© COBE and Lundén Architecture © COBE and Lundén Architecture © COBE and Lundén Architecture © Luxigon

Open Call: From Border to Home - Housing Solutions for Asylum Seekers

The Museum of Finnish Architecture, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, organizes an open, anonymous architectural competition for the design of solutions to housing needs of refugees in northern Europe.
The submissions will form the basis of an exhibition to be hosted in the Finnish Pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. The main exhibition at the Venice Biennale will be curated by the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. Its theme, Reporting from the front, is a call for proactive communal responsibility among architectural practitioners.

Exhibition: The Finnish Rowhouse – From Working-Class Housing to Middle-Class Dream

'The Finnish rowhouse – from working-class housing to middle-class dream' exhibition is showing gems of this lifestyle familiar to all Finns, with the hand of Alvar Aalto and his architect contemporaries powerfully in evidence.

Based on extensive research by Professor Riitta Nikula, the exhibition tells the intriguing story of the rowhouse, uncovering the eventful history of rowhouse living from the 1900s to the 1960s. The exhibition uses drawings, photographs and films to present this high-quality everyday architecture.

OOPEAA's Puukuokka Housing Block Wins 2015 Finlandia Prize

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has selected OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture's Puukuokka housing block as winner of the 2015 Finlandia Prize for Architecture. Saariaho, this year's sole judge for the prize, choose the eight-story wooden apartment building over four other shortlisted projects "because it demonstrates values that [she] appreciates in life as well as in architecture: it is a courageous and ambitious work that brings together an exploration of new possibilities for building and construction, a humane sensibility, and a quest for ecological solutions as well as a strive towards better quality of life.”

Lumi / Avanto Architects

© / Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield © / Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield © / Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield © / Anders Portman and Martin Sommerschield

Housing in East Lauttasaari / Arkkitehdit NRT Oy

  • Architects: Arkkitehdit NRT Oy
  • Location: Purjeentekijänkuja 1, 00210 Helsinki, Finland
  • Architect in Charge: Jyrki Tasa, Pirjo Soininen, Eeva-Liisa Elo-Lehtinen, Sami Vikström
  • Area: 33000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Antti Luutonen

© Antti Luutonen © Antti Luutonen © Antti Luutonen © Antti Luutonen

5 Projects Shortlisted for the 2015 Finlandia Prize

The Finnish Association of Architects SAFA has announced the five projects shortlisted for the 2015 Finlandia Prize for Architecture. After hosting the competition successfully for the first time last year, the Association has returned to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and [to highlight] its benefits for our well-being.”

Similarly to last year, while the five shortlisted projects were selected by a jury of architects, the final winning design will be chosen by a non-architect. This year Kaija Saariaho, an internationally renowned Finnish composer, will select the 2015 winner. “I’ve always taken a keen interest in architecture and of course concert halls," said Saariaho. "When visiting the buildings now proposed for the prize, I gave much thought to how deeply architecture affects our lives on a daily basis."

Learn more about the five shortlisted projects, after the break.

Viikinmäki Quarter House / AFKS

  • Architects: AFKS
  • Location: Harjannetie 36, 00710 Helsinki, Finland
  • Architect in Charge: Jari Frondelius, Jaakko Keppo, Juha Salmenperä architects SAFA
  • Area: 3600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Mika Huisman

© Mika Huisman © Mika Huisman © Mika Huisman © Mika Huisman

Alvar Aalto Foundation Launches Competition to Form Museum Center in Jyväskylä

The Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Jyväskylä has launched an open international competition in search of an architect to design an extension that would connect the Alvar Aalto Museum with the Museum of Central Finland, and the surrounding outdoor area. The aim is to connect these two key Aalto works to form an attractive, high-quality museum center. 

“On the initiative of the Alvar Aalto Foundation we set about taking the matter forwards, our hope being to hold an international design competition. It is wonderful to be involved, via the competition, in linking the museum buildings together, something that Alvar Aalto had originally intended,” says Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation Tommi Lindh. Read on to learn more. 

Video: Gösta Serlachius Museum / MX_SI

Architectural photographer Pedro Pegenaute has shared with us a video through MX-SI's Serlachius Museum Gösta in Mänttä, Finland. An expansion of the existing Joennimei manor, the new building was built to host contemporary art traveling exhibitions and accommodate the museum's growing collections. MX-SI was also commissioned to design a new bridge that connects the museum to the island of Taavetinsaari. You can see them both in the film above.

Moreau Kusunoki's 'Art in the City' Proposal Wins Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

Moreau Kusunoki, based in Paris, have been announced as the winners of the Guggenheim Helsinki competition following a year of shortlisting, refining and deliberation. Their proposal—entitled Art in the City—"sums up the qualities the jury admired in the design" noted Mark Wigley, chair of the jury. He continued: "the waterfront, park, and nearby urban area all have a dialogue with the loose cluster of pavilions, with people and activities flowing between them. The design is imbued with a sense of community and animation that matches the ambitions of the brief to honor both the people of Finland and the creation of a more responsive museum of the future."

The announcement was made this morning in Helsinki by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. Also present was Professor Mark Wigley, chair of the jury and Dean Emeritus of Columbia GSAPP, Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki, Ari Lahti, chairman of the Guggenheim Helsinki Supporting Foundation, and the architect team.

Winning proposal. Image © Moreau Kusunoki Architectes / Guggenheim Winning proposal. Image © Moreau Kusunoki Architectes / Guggenheim Winning proposal. Image © Moreau Kusunoki Architectes / Guggenheim Winning proposal. Image © Moreau Kusunoki Architectes / Guggenheim

Hotel Indigo Helsinki / Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto

  • Architects: Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto
  • Location: Bulevardi 26, 00120 Helsinki, Finland
  • Architect in Charge: Sami Horto
  • Design Team: Teemu Asikainen, Mikko Tuomisto, Hanna Jalassola (Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto Oy)
  • Area: 7730.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo

© Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo

DO! 13th International Alvar Aalto Symposium

The Alvar Aalto Symposium gathers together top names in contemporary architecture. This year’s international figures include American architect Greg Lynn, one of the Symposium’s keynote speakers. In line with the theme of the event – DO! – speakers will be rolling up their sleeves and personally opening up about what architects and urban planners really do. The symposium will be held on 7–9 August 2015 in Jyväskylä, Finland.

AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S

We caught up with Mikko Summanen, one of the co-founders of Finnish firm K2S architects, during his recent trip to Chile for the Finland-Chile Architecture Marathon lecture series. K2S is known for their work designing public and cultural buildings, with projects including the Arctia Headquarters and the Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki, both of which follow the tradition of Finnish architecture (wood, light, craftsmanship, construction detail), while exploring new ways to materialize the tradition. K2S are especially known for their innovative use of traditional materials, as seen with the curved wooden walls of the Kamppi Chapel, with its interiors bathed in light; the use of brick on the Paasitorni Hotel, and the influence of the Finnish maritime industry on the floating Arctia Headquarters.

“In the case of the chapel in Kamppi, what we found really rewarding is that it’s a combination of really traditional techniques like carpentry and shipbuilding combined with the most contemporary technologies like 3D modeling … and even nanotechnology in the case of the treatment of the wooden facades,” Summanen told us.

AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S

Health Clinic Ruukki / alt Architects + Karsikas

  • Architects: alt Architects, Karsikas
  • Location: Kansantie, 92400 Siikajoki, Finland
  • Architect in Charge: Martti Karsikas
  • Building Architectural Design: alt Architects
  • Architectural designer: alt Architects Ltd / Ville-Pekka Ikola, Antti Karsikas, Kalle Vahtera
  • Area: 910.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of alt Architects/ Ville-Pekka Ikola

Courtesy of alt Architects/ Ville-Pekka Ikola Courtesy of alt Architects/ Ville-Pekka Ikola Courtesy of alt Architects/ Ville-Pekka Ikola Courtesy of alt Architects/ Ville-Pekka Ikola

Harjunkulma Housing Block / Kirsti Sivén & Asko Takala Arkkitehdit

  • Architects: Kirsti Sivén & Asko Takala Arkkitehdit
  • Location: 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Architect in Charge: Kirsti Sivén, Asko Takala
  • Area: 23000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo, Asko Takala, Sampo Sikiö

© Tuomas Uusheimo © Asko Takala © Asko Takala © Tuomas Uusheimo

Verstas Architects Win Competition to Expand Lapland Central Hospital in Finland

Finnish firm Verstas Architects has been awarded first place in a competition for the expansion of Finland's Lapland central hospital for their design of a functional complex of "healing architecture." Responding to the challenge of Finland's aging population and changes in municipal funding, the winning proposal reflects the "hospital of tomorrow," creating a flexible and functional space in conversation with its urban surrounds.