Just a few weeks after the shortlist was announced, the 2015 Finlandia Prize of Architecture went to the Puukuokka high-rise residential building, designed by OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture. Established by the Finnish Assocation of Architecture last year, the prize celebrates contemporary Finnish architecture — both within the country and abroad — in recognizing new/renovated projects that exhibit strong design excellence and were completed in the last three years. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho had the honor of selecting the 2015 recipient.
Architect Anssi Lassila, the chief designer of the project and founder of OOPEAA, accepted the Finlandia Prize today.
Check out the building below.
"This timber-framed edifice built in 2014 in Kuokkala, Jyväskylä, was designed by OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture based in Seinäjoki, Finland. Puukuokka combines affordable housing with wood construction and the promotion of new technologies.
Located in the Kuokkala district in Jyväskylä, Puukuokka was completed in 2014. A church built in 2010, also designed by Anssi Lassila, stands in the centre of the district, behind which two other timber-frame high-rise buildings will follow in the footsteps of Puukuokka."
'My goal in designing Puukuokka was to create a clearly identifiable design idiom for large-scale timber construction that combines comfort and cosiness with experience in an exciting way. In Puukuokka, wood is used in a way that highlights its best properties. The building is an integral part of Kuokkala’s centre and together with Kuokkala Church creates an identity for the district by serving as its hub. My ambition was to find a sustainable, high-quality solution for affordable housing,' Anssi Lassila said in a statement.
"The structures are made of solid timber and wooden CLT panels. The dark building enclosure facing the street protects the yard located higher up creating an intimate area as if in the lap of the high edifice. In contrast to the dark exterior, the facade facing the yard is made of untreated spruce enlivened by the sets of extended balconies. The dwellings are stacked into three, eight-storey high zones leaving a towering and airy lobby as high as the building itself in between. The decision to make the stairwell semi-heated allowed the designers to make it exceptionally large. Lakea Oy served as the project developer and JVR-rakenne Oy of Jyväskylä was general contractor."
Composer Kaija Saariaho found all five finalist projects as beautiful and intriguing buildings built with carefully thought-out features. In a statement, she explains her winning choice, which she ultimately based on overall impression:
'I selected Puukuokka as it represents things that I myself value both in architecture and life. It is a bold and ambitious piece of work that seeks to explore something new, aim for the human, develop ecological concepts and improve the quality of life. Puukuokka appeals to me intuitively and is consistent with my own pursuits and values. A visit to one of the apartments and the superiority of a wood-clad dwelling – especially in terms of acoustics and comfort – convinced me. I could sense the welcoming atmosphere when entering the home. The large windows of the spacious staircase offer a view of a forest landscape in several directions. Puukuokka is the building that I enjoyed most with all my senses.'
Architectural design: OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture
Client: Lakea Oy
Main contractor: JVR-rakenne Oy
Location: Kuokkala, Jyväskylä, Finland
Program: 18.650 m2
Year of completion: 2014
Check out the 2014 winner here.
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