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AD Classics: Säynätsalo Town Hall / Alvar Aalto

06:00 - 9 March, 2016
AD Classics: Säynätsalo Town Hall / Alvar Aalto, © Fernanda Castro
© Fernanda Castro

Occupying the center of a small farming town in Finland, Säynätsalo’s Town Hall might appear almost too monumental for its context. Designed by Alvar Aalto in 1949, the town hall is a study in opposition: elements of classicism and the monumental blended with modernity and intimacy to form a cohesive new center-point for the community. These and other aspects of the design initially proved somewhat divisive, and the Town Hall has not been without controversy since its inception.

Courtesy of Flickr user Leon Courtesy of Wikimedia user Zache Courtesy of Wittenborn & Company Courtesy of Flickr user Leon +13

Look Inside a Selection of Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin

04:00 - 9 March, 2016
Look Inside a Selection of Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin, Inside the studios of Jägnefält Milton. Image © Marc Goodwin
Inside the studios of Jägnefält Milton. Image © Marc Goodwin

Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin has recently completed "the ultra-marathon of photoshoots:" twenty-eight architectural offices in twenty-eight days, spread across four capital cities – Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. His aim was to understand what sort of spaces architects in the Nordic countries operate in, and how they differ between each respective country. From former boathouses to stables and coal deposits, Goodwin has captured some of the most unique working environments the profession has to offer.

Studiopuisto. Image © Marc Goodwin Tham & Videgård. Image © Marc Goodwin Leth & Gori. Image © Marc Goodwin Norrøn. Image © Marc Goodwin +33

Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation Initiates International Idea Challenge

05:10 - 4 March, 2016
Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation Initiates International Idea Challenge

The lifework of Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk has had a deep impact on the shaping of Finnish and Scandinavian design identities. The duo was open to new thoughts, easily excitable and pioneers in their field in many senses. Throughout their careers in design and teaching, Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk offered new paradigms to designers, students and ordinary citizens in post-war Finland. 

Community Centre Kastelli / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki

05:00 - 2 March, 2016
Community Centre Kastelli / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, © KUVIO
© KUVIO

© KUVIO © KUVIO © KUVIO © KUVIO +19

Finnish Nature Center Haltia / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki

03:00 - 29 February, 2016
Finnish Nature Center Haltia / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, © Mika Huisman
© Mika Huisman

© Mika Huisman © Mika Huisman © Mika Huisman © Leuku Oy_Voitto Niemelä +40

Pauhu Pavilion Constructed for Tampere Architecture Week in Finland

12:00 - 28 February, 2016
Pauhu Pavilion Constructed for Tampere Architecture Week in Finland, Courtesy of Tampere Architecture Week
Courtesy of Tampere Architecture Week

The Pauhu pavilion was constructed as part of TampereFinland's 2015 Tampere Architecture Week, an annual event that aims to explore ideas about architecture and urban design by bringing together design students and professionals from the city. The 2015 theme -- interaction -- brought forth a discussion between architects and other citizens of Tampere.

The pavilion functions as an open-stage for performances and public debates, and also aims to promote forward-thinking ideas about the innovative use of wood in architecture. The name “Pauhu” refers to the “distant roar generated by the Tampere rapids, by the city around the pavilion, as well as by the artists and presenters the pavilion is hosting.” 

Exhibition: Paimio Sanatorium – Light, air and health

10:24 - 22 February, 2016
Exhibition: Paimio Sanatorium – Light, air and health

Paimio Sanatorium, an early major work by Alvar Aalto, is the subject of an exhibition on show in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum from 12 February to 10 April 2016. The exhibition is based on a conservation management plan prepared for the first time in Finland. The plan involves the most detailed investigation so far of the hospital, which was built for tuberculosis patients.

Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 19 February, 2016
Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale, RRA's National Tourist Route in Trollstigen is among nine selected projects which will be displayed in-depth. Image via RRA
RRA's National Tourist Route in Trollstigen is among nine selected projects which will be displayed in-depth. Image via RRA

The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Architects, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.

"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.

Tree Hotel / Tham & Videgård (Harads, Sweden). Image © Lindman Photography Finnish Nature Centre /Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Haltia, Finland). Image © Mika Huisman Puukuokka Housing Block / OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture (Jyväskylä, Finland). Image © Mikko Auerniitty Råå Daycare Center / Dorte Mandrup (Kustgaten, Sweden). Image © Adam Mørk +12

Finnish Architects Win Competition to Connect Two Alvar Aalto Museums

12:00 - 3 February, 2016
Finnish Architects Win Competition to Connect Two Alvar Aalto Museums, Silmu. Image © Sini Rahikainen, Hannele Cederström, Inka Norros, Kirsti Paloheimo, Maria Kleimola
Silmu. Image © Sini Rahikainen, Hannele Cederström, Inka Norros, Kirsti Paloheimo, Maria Kleimola

A group of young Finnish architects - Sini Rahikainen, Hannele Cederström, Inka Norros, Kirsti Paloheimo, Maria Kleimola - has won an open competition seeking ideas to "connect and integrate" two Alvar Aalto masterpieces - the Alvar Aalto museum and the Museum of Central Finland in Jyväskylä's Ruusupuisto park. With their entry, "Silmu," the winning team was selected over 689 other entries for creating a sensible proposal that met the competitions main goal - "to adapt to its worthy environment in a balanced way, and to find a natural connection with the architecture of Alvar Aalto."

“The high-end entries stand out from the rest with their clear, striking ideas and formal properties. The best things about Silmu were its atmosphere and the subtle contours. It was also seen as adding an extra, tranquil element between the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, while further increasing the functionality of the outdoor spaces,” says Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation Tommi Lindh.

Spotlight: Alvar Aalto

07:00 - 3 February, 2016
Spotlight: Alvar Aalto, Jyvaskyla University. Image © Nico Saieh
Jyvaskyla University. Image © Nico Saieh

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. For his characteristically Finnish take on architecture, Aalto has become a key reference point for architecture in the Nordic countries, and his commitment to creating a total work of art left many examples of his design genius not only in buildings but also in their interior features, including furniture, lamps, and glassware design.

Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals

09:30 - 21 January, 2016
Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals, Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Kostamoinen
Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Kostamoinen

Winter is the perfect time to build structures with ice, a time and a technique that together offer the possibility of a pure white architecture. With a cloudy sky the condition culminates into an impressive whiteout: white architecture, the landscape and the sky dissolve into a diffuse unity without a visible horizon. If clear skies emerge a subtle contrast of warm and cool white appears with yellowish sunrays against the blue sky. However, the ice itself has striking effects as well: The surface appearance ranges from crystal clear glass to soft opaque impressions. And, for the long nights, illumination achieves an additional magical glow and extends the short daylight time.

Worldwide, snow shows, ice hotels and festivals have attracted numerous visitors with glistening snows and stunning lighting solutions. Futhermore, this frozen water strategy presents a sustainable solution par excellence, where the manufacturing and even disposal causes no harm to the environment. Read on to explore the coolest projects and events featuring architects and artists from Finland to China.

Art Suite 2016. Under the Arctic Skin by Rob Harding & Timsam Harding. Image © Icehotel, Asaf Kliger. www.icehotel.com Icehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel, Paulina Holmgren. www.icehotel.com Oblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Menne Stenros Ice Time Tunnel - Tatsuo Miyajima & Tadao Ando. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Jeff DeBany +7

'In Therapy' – the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 20 January, 2016

The Nordic nations—Finland, Norway and Sweden—have reached a pivotal point in their collective, and individual, architectural identities. The Grandfathers of the universal Nordic style—including the likes of Sverre Fehn, Peter Celsing, Gunnar Asplund, Sigurd Lewerentz, Alvar Aalto, and Eero Saarinen—provided a foundation upon which architects and designers since have both thrived on and been confined by. The Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—directed by Alejandro Aravena—will be the moment to probe: to discuss, argue, debate and challenge what Nordic architecture really is and, perhaps more importantly, what it could be in years to come.

We're asking for every practice (and individual) across the world who have built work in Finland, Norway and Sweden in the past eight years to submit their project(s) and be part of the largest survey of contemporary Nordic architecture ever compiled.

Update: the Open Call for In Therapy closed on the 24th January 2016.

3 Winners Announced in Finland’s “From Border to Home” Competition

06:00 - 14 January, 2016
3 Winners Announced in Finland’s “From Border to Home” Competition, Courtesy of Museum of Finnish Architecture
Courtesy of Museum of Finnish Architecture

The Museum of Finnish Architecture, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), has announced the winners of its “From Border to Home” competition, which sought solutions for temporary housing seekers who are awaiting a decision on their refugee status, prior to finding more permanent housing in Finland. Ninety-three entries were submitted from countries around the world including Finland, Sweden, Norway, China, Belarus, the United States, and Brazil, among others. Submitted proposals included solutions that would provide a positive social impact, and also support future ideas about long-term living arrangements.

The jury, comprised of architects, members from the Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Red Cross, and the Finnish Refugee Council, shortlisted seven entries in the first round of judging. They praised the overall quality of the submissions, stating that they ranged in strategies from tackling national issues to creating new buildings, repurposing old sites, and even transforming housing solutions to digital platforms.

From those, three winners tied for first place, chosen due do their “logical coherence and compelling social impact,” according to the jurors. These entries will be showcased in the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale this upcoming summer.

Lappeenranta City Theatre / ALA Architects

05:00 - 4 December, 2015
Lappeenranta City Theatre / ALA Architects, © Tuomas Uusheimo
© Tuomas Uusheimo

© Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo +17

David Basulto to Curate Nordic Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

13:52 - 3 December, 2015
David Basulto to Curate Nordic Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale, The Nordic Pavilion in Venice, designed by Sverre Fehn in 1960. Image © Feruzzi
The Nordic Pavilion in Venice, designed by Sverre Fehn in 1960. Image © Feruzzi

The Nordic Pavilion, representing Finland, Norway and Sweden, has selected David Basulto as curator for their exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Responding to Biennale director Alejandro Aravena's theme for the 2016 event, Reporting from the Front, the exhibition organized by Basulto and the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) will use Nordic architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture as "a springboard" to understand the future challenges which architecture and the built environment will face. The announcement is accompanied by an open call for completed projects that address these challenges. Selected projects will be displayed in the Sverre Fehn-designed pavilion at the Venice Biennale from May 28th to November 27th 2016.

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

14:00 - 17 November, 2015
COBE and Lundén Architecture Envision Transformation of Helsinki's Töölönlahti Bay into "Citizens' Park", © COBE and Lundén Architecture
© COBE and Lundén Architecture

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 +10

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

07:30 - 11 November, 2015
Open Call: From Border to Home - Housing Solutions for Asylum Seekers  , Background image from October 19, 2015, when the competition was officially announced and the seminar From Border to home was held at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Image: https://www.facebook.com/events/459376257575342/
Background image from October 19, 2015, when the competition was officially announced and the seminar From Border to home was held at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Image: https://www.facebook.com/events/459376257575342/

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

19:30 - 30 September, 2015
Exhibition: The Finnish Rowhouse – From Working-Class Housing to Middle-Class Dream, Rowhouse Korkalo, Rovaniemi, 1959. © Aimo A. Tuomi / Alvar Aalto Museum Collections
Rowhouse Korkalo, Rovaniemi, 1959. © Aimo A. Tuomi / Alvar Aalto Museum Collections

'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.