Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / PRAUD

Courtesy of

PRAUD shared with us their concept proposal, titled ‘The Heart of the Metropolis’ for the Central Library competition. With the intent for a building that serves a larger civic function by creating a space for congregation at an urban scale, their library design aims at becoming a ‘Living Room’ for the city. The result is a true metropolitan building that not only creates a dialogue with the city, but one within the architectural language, making it timeless and essential for . More images and architects’ description after the break.

UNBUILT HELSINKI at the Museum of Finnish Architecture

Courtesy of the Museum of Finnish Architecture

Opening at 6:00pm tomorrow at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, UNBUILT is an exhibition about the Unbuilt City and its inhabitants as part of the World Design Capital 2012 program. Drawn from the museum’s archive and beyond, unrealized projects in are studied by a team of researchers who generate new relationships with local resources in order to translate the projects into architectural models. Their findings and the narratives behind the buildings are displayed in an exhibition at the museum. The event is curated by Åbäke and Nene Tsuboi and will be up until February 24. For more information, please visit here.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / PAR + Arup

© Labtop

In contrast to the other buildings in the Töölönlahti District of , an essential component of the design by PAR and Arup for the Central Library involved creating a public space at the top of the library—visually connecting Töölönlahti to Senate Square and the city at large. The library is organized by six intersecting axes that afford spectacular vistas while creating a variety of spatial configurations for the library’s program. With it’s six floor levels each pointing toward a celebrated landmark, the Central Library becomes a symbolic center for city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / OODA

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The proposal for the Central Library by OODA tries to merge the most efficient program articulation with a strong concept which intends to suggest the overall theme integrated with Helsinki’s context. Their building acts as a shifting point between the two demarked city urban networks – ancient and modern – merging both, creating a public path that connects to the park while it simultaneously generates the formal composition. The new central library will be much more than a traditional library. It will be a dynamic entity, fully equipped, comprised of the physical spaces themselves as well as technology, library collections, staff, tourists in an all-age designed forefront building. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Djuric Tardio Architectes

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Djuric Tardio Architectes shared with us their concept,’The Storytelling Tree’, for the Central Library competition. The starting point for their design begins with the book, a never ending memory, which can tell us stories and tales from here and elsewhere, like a hundred-year-old tree. As the roots of the tree are anchored firmly to the ground, the culture is firmly anchored to books, made with paper obtained from the tree itself. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Ghirardelli Architetti

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The proposal by Ghirardelli Architetti for the Central Library aims at being a place for everyone: open and accessible, usable and public. A public square animated by exhibitions, events and music. They propose a building where stratigraphy tells the plot of common feelings, the need of investigating, experimenting and understanding: all this is gathered and preserved in the libraries all over the world which people of all ages have given their contribution to, showing their own direct bond to the first trace given to build our memory. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Kubota & Bachmann Architects

© Jigen

Located at a strategic point within the city of , the ‘Shared Dreams’ proposal for the Central Library conforms to the proposed massing and urban regulations, while endeavoring to give a coherent response to the program and the environment. Designed by Kubota & Bachmann Architects, the variety of the urban conditions will be, from the very beginning, reflected in the concept of the building and the organization of spaces. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Light Forest: Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / MenoMenoPiu Architects

© +imgs

Situated in the new green heart of Helsinki, the ‘Light Forest’ proposal for the Helsinki Central Library intends to replace the existing green that the architects will subtract to the park in a perfectly controlled indoor environment. Occupying 4500m² of the site, MenoMenoPiu Architects decided to conceive the building as a tree forest enclosed in a climatic box, in which the structure represents the causality of the wood. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Silo 468 / Lighting Design Collective

© Tuomas Uusheimo

Architects: Lighting Design Collective
Location: ,
Lead Design: Tapio Rosenius, Oscar Martin, Rodolfo Lozano, Victor Soria, Gorka Cortazar, Reinaldo Alcala, Rodrigo Arcaya
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hannu Iso-oja, Tapio Rosenius, Tuomas Uusheimo

Light Lab 5.1 / VAV Architects


Architects: VAV Architects
Location: , Finland
Architects: Pablo Bolinches Vidal, Darragh Breathnach, Daria Leikina
Collaborators: Veniyana Lemonidi, Matteo Goldoni, Jonathan Russell, Nicholas Dunlop, Tati Leonteva, Alexandra Polyakova, Tereza Scheibova, Anna Podrouzkova, Libor Mládek, David Buhagiar, Aulon Harizaj, Jim Walsh
Area: 7 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: VAV Architects, Jonathan Russell

Snøhetta Exhibition and Lecture

Wolfe Center for the Arts by Snøhetta / © Bruce Damonte

Taking place at the Museum of Finnish Architecture October 10-November 25, the Norwegian architecture, landscape architecture and interior design office, Snøhetta, is showcasing their firm and its work in videos, computer animations, 3D models, photographs, drawings, and texts. Presented in eight sections, the first section looks at the practice itself and its offices in Oslo and New York. The following five are devoted to five key projects: the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, the Ras Al-Khaimah Gateway Development, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, all presented with accompanying scale models. The highlight of the exhibition is a touch-screen display providing fingertip access to data on 100 of Snøhetta’s projects.

The exhibition was produced by the Norwegian National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design with Snøhetta. It was commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and brought to Helsinki by the Norwegian Embassy in . For more information, please visit here.

Niemenranta Elementary School / ALT Architects + Architecture Office Karsikas

© Ikola & Vahtera

Architects: ALT Architects +
Location: , Finland
Design Team: Martti Karsikas, Kalle Vahtera, Antti Karsikas, Ville-Pekka Ikola
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Ikola & Vahtera

Video: Tempeliaukkio, Rock Church / The Helsinki Series

With over half a million visitors a year, the Tempeliaukkio or ‘Rock Church’ is one of Helsinki’s most treasured landmarks. Designed before the Second World war in 1930, and built in 1968 by by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, the Lutheran church was constructed within an excavated rock formation. Apart from its impressive architectural features the glazed dome hovering above the church ensures the structure is bathed in natural light throughout the day. speaks to Timo Suomalainen about winning the architectural competition for Temppeliaukio in 1961, Helsinki’s modernist movement and how he was inspired by growing up on a Finnish Island, surrounded by natural landscapes.

Paasitorni Hotel / K2S Architects

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Architects: K2S Architects
Location: , Finland
Project Architect: Juha Sundqvist
Head Designers: Mikko Summanen, Kimmo Lintula and Niko Sirola
Design Team: Mikko Näveri, Matias Manninen, Tommi Terästö, Elina Tenho, Tommi Mauno, Teija Tarvo, Jarno Vesa, Outi Pirhonen, Tetsujiro Kyuma, Kristian Forsberg
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of K2S Architects

Kamppi Chapel / K2S Architects

© Marko Huttunen

Architects: K2S Architects Ltd
Location: Simonkatu 7, , Finland
Head Designers: Mikko Summanen, Kimmo Lintula and Niko Sirola
Design Team: Jukka Mäkinen, Kristian Forsberg, Abel Groenewolt, Tetsujiro Kyuma, Mikko Näveri, Miguel Pereira, Outi Pirhonen, Teija Tarvo, Elina Tenho, Jarno Vesa
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 352.0 sqm
Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo, Marko Huttunen

Venice Biennale 2012: New Forms in Wood / Finland, Alvar Aalto Pavilion

© Nico Saieh

To celebrate the reopening of the newly restored Alvar Aalto Pavilion, they are highlighting the work of young Finnish architects who have made use of wood in their recent works.

ALA Architects have created an undulating overhang made of massive oak to welcome the visitor to Kilden, their Performing Arts Center in Kristiansand, Norway. Avanto Architects project their public sauna to be constructed out of wood in order to create an easy-going undulating building that is more part of the future coastal park than a conventional building.

Video: Harri Koskinen, The Helsinki Series

As 2012′s Design Capital of the World, Helsinki has positioned itself as one of the most rapidly expanding and innovative centres for design and architecture. embarks on an early-morning fishing trip from the city’s harbour with one of the last remaining fisherman to sail out every day. On the trip we are joined by Finnish design legend Harri Koskinen, also known for his work at renowned glass and ceramics company Iittala. Inspired by his heritage and growing up on the Finnish countryside, he talks us through natural surroundings as an inspiration and the importance of looking back at Finnish traditional housing for the country’s unmistakable slick and minimal design language.

Open House Helsinki

Courtesy of OpenHouseHelsinki

Taking place September 14-16, Open House Helsinki, which is free of cost, allows visitors into places which normally are not available to the public. Guided by designers and specialists, the weekend event includes guided walks in fascinating interior spaces, interesting parts of the city, and both old and new architectural points of interest. No tickets or enrollment is required. The participants are taken in the order of arrival or drawn out in a lottery. For more information, please visit here.