We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

Kotisaarenkatu Housing / Playa Arkkitehdit

  • Architects: Playa Arkkitehdit
  • Location: Kotisaarenkatu 7, 00550 Helsinki, Finland
  • Architect In Charge: Veikko Ojanlatva, Tuukka Vuori, Sirpa Pyyhtiä
  • Design Team: Marja Lapinleimu, Tuomas Raikamo, Jukka Kangasniemi, Mari Haavisto, Ulla Seppä, Jukka Sulonen
  • Scale Model: Daniel Lütolf
  • Area: 5190.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo, Courtesy of Playa Architects , Tarja Nurmi , LUMART

© Tuomas Uusheimo Courtesy of Playa Architects © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo

Cafe Birgitta / Talli Architecture and Design

© Tuomas Uusiheimo © Tuomas Uusiheimo © Tuomas Uusiheimo © Tuomas Uusiheimo

Spotlight: Alvar Aalto

As one of the key figures of midcentury modernism and perhaps Finland's most celebrated architect, Alvar Aalto (3 February 1898 – 11 May 1976) was known for his humanistic approach to modernism. Aalto was concerned about creating a total work of art. He did not simply design buildings but also paid close attention to their interior features, including furniture, lamps, and glassware design.

Michael Sorkin On 'The Next Helsinki' Competition

In an article for Metropolis Magazine, Zachary Edelson speaks to architect and critic Michael Sorkin about The Next Helsinki - a competition set up "to inquire as to whether this very valuable site in this wonderful city can’t somehow be leveraged beyond a franchise museum building." The esteemed jury, replete with distinguished artists and architects (many of whom are Finnish), is not just "a counter-competition" to the recent Guggenheim competition: "we’re trying to raise the question of whether a big foreign institution is the most logical way to prompt the arts to flourish at the community level." Read Sorkin's comments about the Finns' attitude to their city and his thoughts on the shortlist of the recent Guggenheim competition in full here.

Three Lessons From Finnish Architecture

I recently had the opportunity to visit Finland, representing ArchDaily on an architecture press tour organized by the Museum of Finnish Architecture. This was a chance for me to see firsthand some of the recent architecture projects built in the last several years by young architects.

I would like to share with you some of the lessons and best practices I learned from Finnish architecture that I believe we could apply to our work as architects (especially in Latin America, where I am from).

Students Head To Finland To Construct Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice

A team of  from Eindhoven University are set to build a forty metre high model of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia out of 'ice'. The project, which follows their completion of the world’s biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. The fifty-strong team will head to Finland on the 28th December 2014 to begin construction of the impressive 1:5 scale model, which will be built in only four weeks in order to officially open in the last week of January 2015.

Read about their unique construction method and see photos of the preparatory work after the break.

32 "Discarded" Helsinki Guggenheim Proposals You Should Know About

The search for a design for Helsinki’s new Guggenheim Museum is well under way. Over a thousand entrants submitted anonymous proposals for the harbor-side museum, and though six finalists have now been chosen, the incredible wealth of talent and effort present in the submissions is hard to ignore. We celebrate that talent here, showcasing 32 great designs-that-could-have-been for the Helsinki Guggenheim. Learn more about all of them, after the break!

Villa Musu / Sanaksenaho Architects

© Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen © Jussi Tiainen

AD Interviews: Juulia Kauste / Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA)

On her recent trip to Chile for the Finland-Chile Architecture Marathon lecture series we had the chance to chat with Juulie Kauste, the director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA) in Helsinki. “[MFA] has always had the dual mission of focusing on collecting the heritage of architecture in Finland as well as focusing on contemporary architecture both in Finland and internationally,” Kauste explained.

One of the oldest architecture-focused museums in the world, MFA is unusual in that not only do they archive the work of every Finnish architect, but they also play an active role in promoting Finnish architecture and participating in the global architectural community. At both the Shenzhen Biennale and the 2014 Venice Biennale, MFA hosted “Re-Creation,” an installation that used both traditional Finnish and Chinese construction techniques to explore the concepts of “copying” and “reinterpretation.”

“The key part of the role of the museum is to provide a platform for a discussion and debate around architecture and around the ways in which architecture matters to society,” Kauste said. “It’s very much about this idea of sharing information about architecture, making information about architecture available, but also understandable.”

See what else Kauste has to say about what the role of architecture museums should be, how the digital age is affecting museums and the benefits of cross-cultural collaboration in the full video interview above and check out some of our past coverage on MFA below.  

6 Finalists Revealed in Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

The Guggenheim has announced the finalists in the competition to design Guggenheim Helsinki, whittling down the entrants from a record-breaking 1,715 submissions to just six. Representing both emerging and established practices with offices in seven countries, the shortlisted entries show a variety of responses to the challenge of creating a world-class museum.

The six finalists are:

Read on after the break to see all six designs in detail, as well as the jury's comments on each.

Lahdelma & Mahlamäki’s Polish Museum Wins Inaugural Finlandia Prize

A professor of economics, Sixten Korkman has chosen Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects' Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as the winner of the inaugural Finlandia Prize for Architecture. The unconventional award, whose intent is to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and highlights its benefits for our well-being,” enlisted a group of renowned architects to shortlist the finalists before “layman” Korkman selected the winner as an unbiased representative of the public who valued the building for the way it made him “feel.”

“The idea behind the prize undoubtedly resonates with me. In economics one talks about public goods and externalities, and the built environment is precisely these," stated Korkman after announcing his decision. 

"Whether the buildings are in private or public ownership is of no significance. We all see the architecture, experience the architecture, and architecture affects us all. Architecture undoubtedly affects our well-being and comfort: our built environment is our extended living room. In architecture there is also an egalitarian element. Fortunately the sun still shines for both poor and rich. Our built environment exists for us all.”

More about the winning building, after the break.

Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises

The city of Helsinki has announced plans for a design and build competition for a new commercial and residential district in Pasila, near the city centre. The competition, which calls for 8-10 buildings of 15 stories or more, will be part of the city's drive to make Pasila the "second centre of Helsinki," with a total of 150,000-200,000 square metres of residential and office space planned for the district. Read on after the break to find out more about the competition.

Villa Krona / Helin & Co Architects

  • Architects: Helin & Co Architects
  • Location: Kimitoön, 25710 Kimitoön, Finland
  • Architect In Charge: Pekka Helin, Ritva Mannersuo
  • Area: 152.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Pekka Helin

© Pekka Helin © Pekka Helin © Pekka Helin © Pekka Helin

Can You Imagine a City Without Air Conditioners?

Despite Finland’s relatively cool temperatures, climate changes have made heat waves more common in Northern Europe, and the demand for cooling buildings in summer is increasing. Instead of installing air conditioners for individual buildings, Helsinki is pioneering a vast network of underground infrastructure that pumps cold water from lakes and seas into local buildings. Beneath an unassuming park in downtown Helsinki sits a reservoir containing nearly 9 million gallons of water that is recycled and cooled by waste energy after it is used for cooling, replacing the need for air conditioning in the city and cutting carbon pollution by 80%. Read more about this undertaking in this article from Fast Co. Exist.

COBE and Lundén Win Competition to Design Transport Hub in Tampere

The Mayor of Tampere has announced Danish architects COBE and Finnish Lundén Architecture as winners of an international competition for the Tampere Travel and Service Centre. The winning scheme, “Reconnecting Tampere” will join two disparate districts in the heart of Finland’s second largest city and establish a “new urban living room” beneath an expansive steel canopy. 

”Tampere’s new Travel and Service Centre has not only the potential to become a gateway to Tampere and the rest of Finland, but also the potential of becoming a generator for the future development of the urban center of Tampere,” says Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Creative Director of COBE. 

Villa Sarvilahti / K2S Architects

  • Architects: K2S Architects
  • Location: 54500 Luumäki, Finland
  • Architect In Charge: Kimmo Lintula, Niko Sirola, Mikko Summanen
  • Area: 326.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of K2S Architects

Courtesy of K2S Architects Courtesy of K2S Architects Courtesy of K2S Architects Courtesy of K2S Architects