Inside “Re-Creation” – Finland’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

Re-Creation. The Finnish Pavilion at the 2014 Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh

Re-Creation is a two-part installation based on a concept by Anssi Lassila. One part of the installation was constructed by a Finnish master carpenter and his team, and the other by a Chinese team. Together the two parts of the installation strike up a subtle and complex dialogue between the architects and local builders.

Presented by the pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto in 1956, the installation “takes a stand on our relationship with the modern legacy and its tradition of international dialogue, and represents a quintessential product of topical international dialogue while at the same time offering its own unique interpretation of the dynamic between tradition and modernity.” See images of the pavilion and enjoy a statement from the curators after the break.

“Forms of Freedom: African Independence and Nordic Models” – The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

From the Curators. The at the Nordic Pavilion has been titled FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models. The explores and documents how modern Nordic architecture was an integral part of Nordic aid to East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. The resulting architecture is of a scope and quality that has not previously been comprehensively studied or exhibited.

Dutch Students To Build Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice

Montage. Image Courtesy of University of Technology

A team of students from Eindhoven University are to build a forty metre high model of Antonio Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. The project, which follows the completion of the world’s biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. Impressively, the 1:4 scale model will be built in only three weeks. Thin layers of water and snow will be sprayed onto large, inflated molds. The pykrete (water mixed with sawdust) will be immediately absorbed by the snow before freezing. According to the organisers, “the wood fiber content makes the material three times as strong as normal ice, and it’s also a lot tougher.” Find out more about the project here.

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, first open international competition organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, was officially launched today. Submission deadline for stage one is September 10. A jury that includes Mark Wigley, Jeanne Gang, Juan Herreros, and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto will announce the shortlist during Fall 2014.

Following a detailed Concept and Development Study by the Foundation, the City of Helsinki has reserved a prominent waterfront site for the architectural competition of the proposed museum. The site is located in the Eteläsatama, or South Harbor area, an urban space of great national and cultural significance, close to the historic city center and immediately visible to visitors arriving by sea.

It is envisaged that the Guggenheim Helsinki would organize and present internationally significant exhibitions of artworks from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries while also specializing in Nordic art and architecture. Within the Guggenheim Foundation’s international constellation of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Helsinki would be distinctive in its active inclusion of design and architecture in its programming.

Malcolm Reading Consultants are running the design competition. All enquiries should be directed here. For complete information please visit the competition’s official website.

KCAP Wins Joint First Prize in Eteläpuisto Park Tampere Competition

Dock View. Image © KCAP Architects & Planner

KCAP Architects & Planners has recently won a shared first place title in the Eteläpuisto competition for the city of , Finland. The competition brief specified that entries were required to create an “urban residential area and provide for programs suitable for the city structure and for the landscape.” Recreational access to the nearby lake shore was required, as was enabling access to Tampere’s Hämeenpuisto Esplanade. KCAP’s residential park proposal was chosen unanimously by the competition jury from six total entries.

Kettukallio / Playa Architects

© Tuomas Uusheimo

Architects: Playa Architects
Location: 52550 Hirvensalmi,
Area: 122.0 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo

Omenapuisto Day-Care-Center / Hakli Architects

© Jussi Tiainen

Architects: Hakli Architects
Location: ,
Architectural Design: Seppo Häkli, Matti Tervonen
Area: 890 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jussi Tiainen

House M-M / Tuomas Siitonen Office

© Tuomas Uusheimo

Architects: Tuomas Siitonen Office
Location: Helsinki,
Area: 145.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo, Maija Luutonen

5 Teams Shortlisted to Redesign Tampere Travel Interchange

Site Area. Image © BLOM

To accommodate for the inevitable growth in population, , ’s second largest city has shortlisted five teams to reimagine its largest railway station. With of vision of the Tampere Railway Station becoming a lively multi-functional city area by 2030, competitors have been asked to design an overall masterplan that will guide future development for the travel and service center area. The following architect-led teams have each received €80,000 to participate:

Venice Biennale 2014: Nordic Pavilion to Study Architecture’s Role in East African Independence

FORMS OF FREEDOM. Kenyatta International Conference Center, Nairobi, Kenya. 1966–1973. Architect: Karl Henrik Nøstvik.. Image © David Keith Jones

The National Museum in Norway has been chosen to curate the Nordic Pavilion for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, in collaboration with the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm, and architectural firm Space Group. The , “FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models” will study modern Nordic architecture’s role in the liberation of East Africa during the 1960s and 70s.

What the Guggenheim Should Consider Before Building in Helsinki

The Museum Bilbao / Frank Gehry. Image © Flickr User: Iker Merodio

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.

Tampere Travel and Service Centre Design Competition

The City of , 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.

Sauna Tonttu / Anssi Lassila – Lassila Hirvilammi

© Mikko Auerniitty

Architects: Lassila Hirvilammi
Location: 63800 ,
Architect In Charge: Anssi Lassila
Builders: tmi Petri Piipponen
Area: 16.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Mikko Auerniitty

Kärsämäki Church / Anssi Lassila – Lassila Hirvilammi

© Jussi Tiainen

Architects: Lassila Hirvilammi
Location: Pappilankuja 24, 86710 ,
Architect In Charge: Anssi Lassila
Building: Parish of Kärsämäki
Engineering: Jussi Tervaoja, architect, DI
Area: 200.0 sqm
Year: 2004
Photographs: Jussi Tiainen

Helsinki University Main Library / Anttinen Oiva Architects

© Mika Huisman

Architects: Anttinen Oiva Architects
Location: Kaisaniemenkatu, , Finland
Design Team Leader: Vesa Oiva
Area: 31,700 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Mika Huisman, Tuomas Uusheimo

Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi

View of the Civic Square From Rovaniemi Town Hall, Hallituskatu 7. Photo: Jukka Suvilehto/Provincial Museum of Lapland

Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi, a new at the Museum, takes an in-depth look at ’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 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
Website: http://www.alvaraalto.fi/index_en.htm
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

Hipsterkasbah (Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University) / ALA Architects

Boulevard Rendering. Image Courtesy of

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.”

“The Hug” / MenoMenoPiu Architects & Paolo Venturella

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects &

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 building.

The architects’ description after the break.