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AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S

We caught up with Mikko Summanen, one of the co-founders of Finnish firm K2S architects, during his recent trip to Chile for the Finland-Chile Architecture Marathon lecture series. K2S is known for their work designing public and cultural buildings, with projects including the Arctia Headquarters and the Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki, both of which follow the tradition of Finnish architecture (wood, light, craftsmanship, construction detail), while exploring new ways to materialize the tradition. K2S are especially known for their innovative use of traditional materials, as seen with the curved wooden walls of the Kamppi Chapel, with its interiors bathed in light; the use of brick on the Paasitorni Hotel, and the influence of the Finnish maritime industry on the floating Arctia Headquarters.

“In the case of the chapel in Kamppi, what we found really rewarding is that it’s a combination of really traditional techniques like carpentry and shipbuilding combined with the most contemporary technologies like 3D modeling … and even nanotechnology in the case of the treatment of the wooden facades,” Summanen told us.

AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S AD Interviews: Mikko Summanen / K2S

Three Lessons From Finnish Architecture

I recently had the opportunity to visit Finland, representing ArchDaily on an architecture press tour organized by the Museum of Finnish Architecture. This was a chance for me to see firsthand some of the recent architecture projects built in the last several years by young architects.

I would like to share with you some of the lessons and best practices I learned from Finnish architecture that I believe we could apply to our work as architects (especially in Latin America, where I am from).

Brick Transformed: The 2014 Wienerberger Brick Award Winners

The following news is presented by ArchDaily Materials, our new US product catalog.

The 2014 Wienerberger Brick Award Winners exemplify brick's potential in contemporary architecture, transforming the common brick into something spectacular. This year's jury featured 2012 Pritzer winner Wang Shu, who commented on the "spatial and secret" feeling of the Grand Prize Winning Kantana Film and Animation Institute. See all seven winners after the break.

© Pirak Anurakyawachon © Damir Fabijanic © Marko Huttunen © Fernando Alda 

Venice Biennale 2012: Finnish Pavilion presents “New Forms in Wood”

Kilden Performing Arts Centre; Kristiansand, Norway / ALA Architects  © Ivan Baan
Kilden Performing Arts Centre; Kristiansand, Norway / ALA Architects © Ivan Baan

Wood has always been Finland’s preferred building material, as both nature and the forest has long provided a livelihood and enduring source of inspiration for Finnish artists and architects. Now, with the use of modern technology and new treatment methods, Finnish architects are pushing the boundaries of this conventional material to unleash new creative potential. To celebrate the reopening of the newly restored, Alvar Aalto-designed Finnish pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale, “New Forms in Wood” will highlight the work of young Finnish architects who have used wood inventively in their recent works. Continue after the break to review the exhibition’s featured projects and architects.

In Progress: Kamppi Chapel of Silence / K2S Architects

View from Lasipalatsi
View from Lasipalatsi

Architects: K2S Architects Ltd Location: Helsinki, Finland Client: Helsinki Parish Union and the City of Helsinki Structural engineering: Insinööritoimisto Vahanen Oy Matti Kivinen, Ulla Harju Project Year: 2012 Project Area: 300 sqm Photographs: Courtesy of K2S Architects

View from Above Courtesy of K2S Architects View from Narinkkatori Interior View