The Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA) have announced a shortlist of 4 projects in contention for the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2016. Now in its third year, the prize continues with the goal to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and [to highlight] its benefits for our well-being.”
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.
The Lappeenranta City Theatre is housed, unusually for a theatre, within a new extension of a shopping mall. The Pre-Selection Jury finds that the concept in which a large public building is housed within a commercial building ultimately creates an intriguing setting for a new type of theatre building to emerge. The foyer of the theatre opens up towards the high central hall of the mall. The public spaces are furnished with dark monochrome and metallic surfaces providing a convincing contrast to the abundance of colour and information stimuli of the shopping mall. Built on one level, the theatre centres around a tight group of large hall spaces. Its elegant simplicity raises the ambiance above and beyond the ordinary. Completed in 2015, the theatre was designed by ALA Architects (architects Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston).
Löyly was erected in Helsinki’s Hernesaari district this year. According to the Pre-Selection Jury, few buildings in Helsinki that are open to the public make such full use of their location by the sea as Löyly does. The horizon is visible from almost all indoor spaces and the views can also be taken in from the roof. The building is a mound clad in wooden lamellas that beautifully reflect the light thanks to their triangular profile. The wood used on the elevation will acquire a grey patina over time, so that, from a distance, it will look like one of the bare granite rocks emblematic of the Helsinki coastline. The slats provide discrete privacy to those using the saunas, while allowing a sea view from inside. The building was designed by Avanto Architects (architects Ville Hara, Anu Puustinen, Antti Westerlund and Hiroko Mori; architect students Laura Nenonen and Xiaowen Xu).
Rovaniemi Sports Arena, Railo / APRT Architects
The spectator stand of the Rovaniemi Sports Arena, Railo, and the boulder-shaped residential and office buildings, once completed, will form a crevasse-like roadway winding between them. The building is located within the so-called “Reindeer Antler” town plan designed by Alvar Aalto, near the town centre of Rovaniemi. The stand has a very different look depending on the direction from which it is viewed. When seen directly from the front, from the other side of the pitch, the structure looks like a lean and lightweight canopy supported by columns. The best view of the spectator stand is from a distance: a large-scale, statuesque sports arena. According to the Pre-Selection Jury, the new sports arena and multipurpose building add a contemporary edge to the city’s high-quality architecture. Railo was designed by APRT Architects (architects Aaro Artto, Teemu Palo, Yrjö Rossi, Hannu Tikka and Jussi Vakkilainen).
Suvela Chapel / OOPEAA
The Suvela Chapel creates a natural highpoint within its surroundings. Some of the spaces are used by the City of Espoo residents’ park. The building also houses some facilities serving the residents’ park, making it a natural meeting point for people of all ages. The building forms clear delineation for traffic routes around it and the yard area it encloses. The copper clad building extends from the ground over the roof and belfry, resulting in a sculptural impression. The interior of the main hall is powerful in its simplicity. Completed in 2016, the chapel was designed by OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture (architects Anssi Lassila, Iida Hedberg, Juha Pakkala, Teemu Hirvilammi, Jussi-Pekka Vesala, Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä, Anis Souissi and Miguel Silva).
This year’s jury was comprised of Jury Chair Pirjo Sanaksenaho, Sari Nieminen, Eero Lundén and Janne Pihlajaniemi. Together they selected the four projects, each which serve in their own way as a “living room” for local residents.
“The shortlisted new builds represent buildings of widely differing functions and geographic locations,” says Sanaksenaho. “What they have in common is that they all form a space for the public to spend time in – a church space, a sports venue, a cultural space and leisure time space. In each of these buildings, architecture has been used to give them interest and personality within their respective environments.”
News via SAFA.