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.
Eero Lundén and Markus Wikar have applied computer algorithms to create a light construction out of wood for a temporary pavilion in Turku. K2S Architects have used wood to create a carefully crafted space of silence and retreat in one of the busiest areas in downtown Helsinki. Lassila Hirvilammi Architect engage in a dialogue between tradition and new applications of wood construction in their Kuokkala Church.
The pavilion, designed as a central meeting point of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 by Pyry-Pekka Kantonen and the Wood Program at Aalto University, illustrates the emphasis placed on innovation and research in wood techniques as part of the education of architects and designers in Finland.
The Alvar Aalto Pavilion was originally intended as a temporary construction. It was designed by Aalto, known for his skillful treatment of wood in furniture as well as in building and construction. As a pavilion dedicated to represent Finland at La Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition of 1956, the structure was made out of wood, a rather uncommon construction material in Venice.
Despite the pavilion’s originally temporary nature an unusual building material, the building has acquired a sense of permanence as part of the Giardini area in Venice. In the Fall of 2011, however, the pavilion was seriously damaged by a falling tree during a storm. This accident, caused by the play of the forces of nature, initiated a process of reflection and study to evaluate the history of the building and the techniques used in its construction. It also inspired us to recognize the contemporary expressions of the long tradition of building in wood in Finland and its important role as part of a shared frame of reference for people.
The exhibition is part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program.