The Puukuokka Housing Block designed by OOPEAA has been selected winner of the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015.
This year composer Kaija Saariaho has acted as the judge to select the winner from among five finalists. She describes her decision in the following words: “I chose Puukuokka as the winner because it demonstrates values that I appreciate in life as well as in architecture: it is a courageous and ambitious work that brings together an exploration of new possibilities for building and construction, a humane sensibility, and a quest for ecological solutions as well as a strive towards better quality of life.”
Saariaho deems all of the five shortlisted buildings interesting, beautiful and elegant, and notes that they are each a result of carefully researched solutions. Therefore, her decision for the selection of the winner was made based on a comprehensive judgment of the overall qualities of the work: “I chose a building that intuitively appeals to me and reflects the values I appreciate in life and the goals I have set for myself in my work. The chance to visit the home of a resident and to hear her share her thoughts and experience about how comfortable the apartment is to live in, and about the superior qualities of the sound isolation in the wooden building, further convinced me. I could sense the intimate warmth of the building right upon entering. The views into the surrounding landscape that open up in different directions in the spacious hallway are impressive. Puukuokka is a building that I felt most comfortable in with all my senses.”
The Finlandia Prize for Architecture The Finlandia Prize for Architecture was established in 2011 by SAFA, the Finnish Association of Architects. The Finlandia Prize for Architecture is awarded to a design or renovation design for an outstanding new building or building complex that has been completed within the past three years.
The Prize promotes the appreciation of high-quality architecture and aims to highlight the importance of architecture in producing cultural value and increasing well-being. The Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA, made the decision to establish the Finlandia Prize for Architecture on December 12, 2011.
The five shortlisted projects in 2015 are the Puukuokka Housing Block by OOPEAA; the Kangasala Arts Centre by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects; the OP Financial Group Headquarters by JKMM Architects; the Merenkulkijanranta residential block by NRT Architects; and Opinmäki School by Arkkitehtitoimisto Esa Ruskeepää Oy.
Other works by Anssi Lassila / OOPEAA include , for example, the Kärsämäki Shingle Church, the Kuokkala Church and the House Riihi. The Suvela Chapel and Community Center in Espoo is currently under construction and a public sauna on the Island of Lonna in Helsinki and the Konsthall Tornedalen in Sweden are now in the design phase.