Studio Work: Helsinki, Spring 2011

  • Work by Sally Shadlun, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Sally Shadlun, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
  • Work by Sally Shadlun, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Sally Shadlun, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
  • Work by Matthew White, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Matthew White, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
  • Work by Matthew White, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Matthew White, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
  • Work by Philip Balsiger, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Philip Balsiger, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
  • Work by Philip Balsiger, Spring 2011, Helsinki.
    Work by Philip Balsiger, Spring 2011, Helsinki.

Helsinki International Studio, Spring 2011

Peter MacKeith, Associate Professor
Kimmo Friman, Lecturer Abroad
Pentti Kareoja, Lecturer Abroad
Rainer Mahlamaki, Lecturer Abroad
Juhani Pallasmaa, Lecturer Abroad
Matti Rautiola, Lecturer Abroad

The ethos of architectural design in Finland and the Nordic countries can be understood by its attention to issues of cultural identity, environmental responsiveness, material substance, and democratic intentions. This studio seeks to transfer this sensibility to students through a series of researched visual investigations, scaled material constructions, and tectonic architectural designs. The curriculum places an emphasis on fostering an appreciation for the "art of building," with equal focus on materials and the experience of place.

Students begin with a short sketch project, working in teams of two to design a series of nine temporary pavilions that house information relating to Helsinki's designation as World Design Capital in 2012. Sited in nine public squares throughout the city, the pavilions are intended to be assembled on-site; to provide virtual interaction with one another and the world beyond; and to demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability.

For the studio's more comprehensive "long project," students have the option of designing either a small American Cultural Institute in Helsinki’s central Ullanlinna neighborhood, or a similarly scaled Helsinki Cultural Center in New York City. In either case, each student must craft a strongly experimental yet highly resolved architectural proposal, working from initial design conceptions and structural, energy, and systems analyses to building models, interior and exterior elevations, and technical wall sections of materials and assemblies.