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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture Finland

The sunny garden in the Vaasa Kompassi quarter acts as a pleasant meeting place for the residents.

Living in the future The master plans of future cities are on the drawing boards right now. Award-winning Serum architects from Finland want their projects to act as an inspiring interface for urban life. They want to build housing that will last well into the future while not forgetting the past. By Mia Halonen | Photos: Serum architects

Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, Zurich, New York, Tunis – all very familiar cities to the young cosmopolitans of Serum architects. But Antti Lehto, Sami Heikkinen and Vesa Humalisto have a rare asset: they also know what it’s like to live in different kinds of environments across their home country. Heikkinen grew up in the arctic town of Kajaani in northeastern Finland, Humalisto in a farm close to Tampere and Lehto in the midst of concrete apartment buildings close to Helsinki. “It certainly gives us

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more perspective,” states Heikkinen. “We know first hand the challenges of the climate here and the special features of the nature.” Maybe the broad understanding of living on these latitudes is the key to the architects’ success. Although they all come from a different background, they share the enthusiasm related to designing a better future. In a relatively short time Serum has gained success by designing housing and urban

plans in several towns all over Finland, and the company is now considered one of the best architectural studios in the country. To prove this, August 2014 saw Serum architects awarded with the notable Pietilä prize, especially for renewing architectural thinking in Finland. In the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest architects of all time, that is no easy task. Location, location, location Serum architects are praised for taking the location into account very early on, so the manmade elements fit the natural environment organically. “Understanding and finding a balanced relationship reacting to the landscape, no matter urban or rural, is one of our key elements in the design process,” Heikkinen explains.

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine | Issue 69 | October 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with actress Signe Egholm Olsen.

Scan Magazine | Issue 69 | October 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with actress Signe Egholm Olsen.