When placed in a historic landscape, contemporary architecture requires a layered approach. It must often strike a respectful, vernacular tone, whilst embracing the innovative, functional hallmarks of a modern building. This balance has particular relevance at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, located off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Throughout its 300-year history, it was once occupied by the armies of Sweden, Russia and Finland – a rich history attracting UNESCO World Heritage status, and almost one million annual visitors. The site is more than a museum, however, but a living district of Helsinki with 800 inhabitants and 500 jobs.
Against the prerequisites of past and present, Heikkinen & Kangasaho Architects have combined sharp, functional modernity with respectful, restrained simplicity in a new housing scheme to sit amongst Suomenlinna’s historic fortifications.
Snøhetta has been selected as the winners of an invited competition for the design of a new hotel to be located on the Hakaniemi waterfront in Helsinki, Finland. Aimed at becoming a “new beacon of Helsinki,” Hilbert’s Hotel will provide new public space for the city while increasing accommodation for visitors.
Last year saw the Alvar Aalto Foundation experience a record-breaking number of visitors at each of its four sites – a total of 42,755 as opposed to the 36,744 people that toured the sites in 2015.
Of those numbers, The Alvar Aalto Museum and the Muuratsalo Experimental House in Jyväskylä received a total of 20,005 visitors combined, half of which had arrived from outside of Finland to explore the Museum, while also continuing the recent trend of an increasing number of visits over the past five years.
After a career as a professional skateboarder, Helsinki-based Janne Saario has become one of few landscape architects in the world with a practice devoted completely to designing skate parks for young people. Saario’s designs—all of which are located in Europe—diverge from the typical brutalist stereotypes of concrete skate park masses, and rather, are site-specific and heavily influenced by their natural surroundings.
“Young people are our hope and future,” says Saario. “And by offering beautiful and meaningful surroundings to grow, like wonderful skate parks, we can make a positive change on their picture of the world and future behavior.”
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is abandoning plans for a museum in the Finnish capital after a proposal for funding was rejected by the Helsinki City Council, 53-32.
“We are disappointed that the Helsinki City Council has decided not to allocate funds for the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki museum, in effect bringing this project to a close,” Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, told the Helsinki Times.
The project emphasises a consumerist and touristic view of art at the expense of the cultural and humane task of art. instead of strengthening local artistic traditions and practices, the project strengthens the already doubtful globalisation and commercialisation of art. The public funds could clearly be used in a more innovative and efficient manner to support Finnish artistic culture.
http://www.archdaily.com/800188/finnish-architect-juhani-pallasmaa-refuses-to-support-guggenheim-helsinki-projectAD Editorial Team
The future development of the Arabia Historic District in Helsinki has culminated in the second round of a two-stage competition.
Arabiazza(s) — one of the four proposals selected for the second stage — was developed by team leader Anssi Lassila and comprised of OOPEAA working in collaboration with Lunden Architecture and Gehl Architects acting as a consultant in urban public space. Through a sequential flow of spaces in the form of public squares, Arabiazza(s) fundamentally aims to encourage public interaction. The intent to engage a broad range of people — from students to tourists to workers — inspired the creation of multiple sheltered inner courtyards.
German collective Plastique Fantastique have created “superKOLMEMEN,” an inflatable structure encircling a historic sculpture in Three Smiths Square (Kolmen sepän aukio) in downtown Helsinki for Helsinki Design Week. Throughout the event, the installation was used as a space for lectures, performances and workshops, as well as a casual gathering place.
Metropolis Magazine has released their 2016 rankings of the world's most "livable" cities. Acknowledging that what makes a city "livable" can often be subjective, the team at Metropolis emphasizes that in creating the list they "focused on the concerns at Metropolis’ core—housing, transportation, sustainability, and culture." The result of this research was last year's top prize-winner Toronto dropping to the number 9 spot and Copenhagen, which last year took the number 4 spot, jumping to the top. Rounding out the top three are Berlin and Helsinki.
Following the tradition of the award, while the shortlist was selected by a panel of architects, the final winning project will be chosen by a non-architect. This year, former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen will have the honor of picking the winner.
Find out more about the 4 projects after the break.