The renovation of the Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre in Otaniemi, designed by NRT Architects in collaboration with JKMM Architects (interiors), has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Finlandia Prize for Architecture. Completed in 2016, the project is the first renovation to be awarded the prize. The original building was completed in 1970 to fit into the Alvar Aalto-designed Otaniemi campus plan.
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.
Similarly to last year, while the five shortlisted projects were selected by a jury of architects, the final winning design will be chosen by a non-architect. This year Kaija Saariaho, an internationally renowned Finnish composer, will select the 2015 winner. “I’ve always taken a keen interest in architecture and of course concert halls," said Saariaho. "When visiting the buildings now proposed for the prize, I gave much thought to how deeply architecture affects our lives on a daily basis."
Learn more about the five shortlisted projects, after the break.
A professor of economics, Sixten Korkman has chosen Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects' Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as the winner of the inaugural Finlandia Prize for Architecture. The unconventional award, whose intent is to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and highlights its benefits for our well-being,” enlisted a group of renowned architects to shortlist the finalists before “layman” Korkman selected the winner as an unbiased representative of the public who valued the building for the way it made him “feel.”
“The idea behind the prize undoubtedly resonates with me. In economics one talks about public goods and externalities, and the built environment is precisely these," stated Korkman after announcing his decision.
"Whether the buildings are in private or public ownership is of no significance. We all see the architecture, experience the architecture, and architecture affects us all. Architecture undoubtedly affects our well-being and comfort: our built environment is our extended living room. In architecture there is also an egalitarian element. Fortunately the sun still shines for both poor and rich. Our built environment exists for us all.”