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2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:37 Page 111

Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Finland

Architecture Special: Finland

The pursuit of equality and vibrant, sustainable design Some five million people have chosen the densely forested ‘northern rim’ of Europe and brisk climate of Finland as their home. Trees dominate the landscape here and, while there are no mountains to speak of, the country abounds with lakes. Cities in Finland are rather small, scattered randomly around the woodland countryside. By Jorma Mukala, editor-in-chief of ARK Finnish Architectural Review

The vast open territory of Lapland comprises of the entire northern section of our elongated country, while our shores are a polymorphic gathering of ornamental islands and archipelagos. Along with its suburbs, the capital city of Helsinki on the southern coast forms the only urban area in Finland with over a million inhabitants. Modern architecture has found a strong foothold in our cold environs. Still in its infancy, Modernism came to Finland in the late 1920s and was immediately and enthusiastically embraced. Practicality, functionality, application of contemporary technology and the pursuit of equality have remained important values in the Finnish architecture community throughout the decades. This continuation of the modernist ethos may well be regarded as one of the hallmarks of contemporary Finnish architecture. There are two important and interesting phenomena in the recent state of Finnish architecture. Firstly, wood as a construction material is making a comeback. From the 1960s onwards, wood was regarded as an old-fashioned material and, according to this technology-bound view, steel, glass and concrete were considered signs of progress and forward thinking. In the 21st century, the goals of ecological and sustainable development have changed the

situation. Thanks to an environmental viewpoint, traditional wood is now a trendy, progressive material. The other interesting phenomenon is the breakthrough of a new generation. During the last five years or so, offices like Ala, Avanto, Anttinen-Oiva, K2S, OOPEAA, Playa and Verstas have brought new views and power to discussions. The freshest and most vibrant Finnish architecture seems to come from these very offices. The Kamppi Chapel (2012) by K2S and the University Library Kaisa (2012) by Anttinen-Oiva, both located in the centre of Helsinki, are good examples. They showcase the atmospheres of the new generation. The small Kamppi Chapel is a sculptural, bowl-shaped wooden space on the edge of a busy square, aiming for minimalist purity. The library, which was tailored to a densely developed urban site, brings unity and a new focal point to the streetscape as well as beautiful interiors and views over the city for its users – dramatic spaces, carefully designed details. Both buildings give a positive identity to the place they are part of.

For more information, please visit: www.ark.fi www.safa.fi

Issue 81 | October 2015 | 111

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.