The Guggenheim is planning a new museum in Helsinki. The site is in the heart of the city, next door to the late 19th Century market hall and open-air market place, two minutes from Helsinki Cathedral. The project, therefore, has great landmark potential for the city. And many Finns are lured by this very potential, wanting to increase tourism and put their capital city more evidently on the world map. There has also been discussion in the country’s main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat about how Finns should welcome a more joyous and fun architecture.
Destination-creation and architecture as entertainment are certainly strong themes of our times. They were treated with great artistry by Frank Gehry with the Bilbao Guggenheim, opened in 1997. However, it’s important to remember that the Bilbao Guggenheim might best be considered a spectacular one-off. Mayors, politicians and world leaders have since sought, in perhaps too facile a way, to rebrand their cities and countries with iconic landmarks. There has been much talk of making cities “world class” through such architectural gestures, and yet much of this marketer’s fodder is wholly out of touch with what makes great architecture great.
The City of Tampere, the Finnish Transport Agency, the VR-Group and Senate Properties are organizing an international design contest for the Tampere Travel and Service Centre and its environs. The design contest for the travel and service centre is looking for a shared vision for the area’s development as well as shared view on the guidelines for future measures.
The competitors’ task is to create an overall plan for the travel and service centre area that is of high quality in terms of its services and congruence with the cityscape. The travel and service centre area must incorporate the following elements: a travel and service centre that serves different modes of public transport; easy accessibility by different modes of travel; pleasant urban spaces as well as high-quality office, service and housing construction. This is an ideas competition.
Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi, a new exhibition at the Alvar Aalto Museum, takes an in-depth look at Alvar Aalto’s work in and around Rovaniemi. As well as the administrative and cultural centre, the works on show include lesser-known residential and commercial buildings. The exhibition, collated by the Provincial Museum of Lapland, will be open in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum from 1.11.2013 to 2.2.2014.
Aalto’s work in Rovaniemi began as early as the 1940s with master planning. Over the decades that followed, various buildings were constructed such as the Aho residential and commercial complex in the city centre and the Korkalorinne housing scheme, built according to the garden suburb ideal. Aalto’s monumental architecture is represented by the Town Hall, the Library and Lappia Hall completed between the 1960s and the 1980s.
As well as the architecture, Aalto’s buildings are examined from the viewpoint of visitors, employees and residents. “The experiences of users provide an alternative, complementary viewpoint on Aalto’s buildings, which allows room for critical comment,” says Charlotte Malaprade who has written the exhibition texts.
The Alvar Aalto Museum has supplemented the Timeless exhibition with local comment from Jyväskylä. Experiences of living in the Viitatorni multi-storey block in Jyväskylä are told by the residents themselves in words and pictures.
Title: Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi
Organizers: Alvar Aalto Museum
From: Fri, 01 Nov 2013
Until: Sun, 02 Feb 2014
Venue: Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum
Address: Alvar Aallon katu 7, 40600 Jyväskylä sub-region, Finland
ALA Architect‘s submission for Aalto University‘s Campus2015 international design competition proposed a “conglomerate of buildings to form an incubator of activity.” Their aim was to “connect existing structures and projects to create a new areal hotspot, an urban concentration with vivid street life” in order to nurture an “open display of creativity.”
MenoMenoPiu Architects & Paolo Venturella just released their entry for the Alvar Aalto University Otaniemi Campus Competition in Helsinki. Their proposal focuses on the creation of an energy-efficient learning environment that rethinks the traditional courtyard typology. It uses different levels and heights to create a variety of public and private spaces open to both students and inhabitants of the city, all while framing the main Alvar Aalto building.
The architects’ description after the break.
Finland is consistently ranked by several different organizations, amongst them the UN, as the top in student’s education, well-being and even overall human development rankings. These factors make pursuing higher education in Finland equally appealing. Why? Because in a country that is highly ranked for human development indices like life expectancy, and GDP per capita, and world happiness, the standard of living is most likely to be good for students as well. This is an important consideration for architecture students who often experience enormous stress within the studio culture which dominates most curriculums.
At Tampere University of Technology, not only can students benefit from a high standard of living, but they can also pursue a degree, conducted entirely in English, at all three degree levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral. Within those degree levels, the major areas span the range of practice-oriented architecture curriculums to those focused on theory and research. Focuses include Architecture, Architectural Construction, Architectural Design, Architectural and Urban Research, History of Architecture, Housing Design, Urban Planning and Design and Theory of Urban Planning and Design.
ALA Architects have just won the design competition for the new Helsinki Central Library with their entry “Käännös”. Located in the heart of Helsinki, the 16,000 square meter library building will consist almost entirely of public spaces and will offer a wide selection of services. It will serve as the new central point for the city’s impressive public library network and is slated to open in 2018. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Museum of Finnish Architecture’s summer exhibition, ‘Light Houses.Young Nordic Architecture‘ is a two-part showing of contemporary work by young Nordic architects taking place now until September 22. Thirty-two architects from Finland, Sweden and Norway – all born after 1962, the year the pavilion was designed – were invited to design a sculptural piece that both complements the modernist vocabulary of Fehn’s pavilion and encapsulates their office’s philosophy of architecture in a 3D form of pre-specified dimensions. More information on the exhibition after the break.
Located in a rural setting in central Finland, a few kilometers north of the city of Tampere, the proposal for the Hämeenkyrö Environmental School by Hyperbuildings aims to be a reflection of the school’s nationally acclaimed environmental curriculum. The addition is an L-shaped volume that forms a new central courtyard with the existing 1903 building where the school is currently housed. This approach seeks to maximize opportunities for having natural and agricultural landscapes on the site. More images and architects’ description after the break.