Venice Architecture Biennale Finnish Pavilion 2014, Exhibition, Aalto, Design

Venice Biennale 2014 Finnish Pavilion

Finland Architecture Exhibition, Italy – curated by Ole Bouman and Juulia Kauste

8 + 3 Jun 2014

Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion 2014


Curators: Ole Bouman + Juulia Kauste


The Finnish pavilion will feature a special installation. Re-Creation demonstrates the resilience of architecture.

Re-Creation is a two-part installation based on a concept by Anssi Lassila. It started as an experiment to learn what happens when a tradition in one culture is re-enacted in another. With two “primitive huts” that the visitor can enjoy from within, the installation lets people experience space and shelter at their purest offering two locally defined interpretations of the same universal idea.

Finnish Pavilion in Venice, by architect Alvar Aalto:
Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion
photo © Adrian Welch

Finland and Shenzhen
Characteristic of the approach of OOPEAA, Re-Creation has been created through a communicative process of dialogue between the architect and the builder, in this case in two different local contexts, Finland and China. One part of the installation was constructed of spruce logs by a Finnish master carpenter and his team and the other of bamboo stems by a Chinese team. Together the two parts of the installation strike up a subtle and complex dialogue between the architects and local builders. Setting the Finnish and Chinese concepts of modernity in dialogue, Re-Creation demonstrates the resilience of architecture and takes a stand on our relationship with the modern legacy and its tradition of international exchange.

The installation has been created as an integral part of the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) in collaboration with its Creative Director Ole Bouman, who transformed an industrial plant into a Value Factory, fostering a new culture of making. In this spirit, Re-Creation is the result of a deliberate and mutual exposure of the almost timeless architecture fundamentals of a nation to the rapidly changing cultural realities of a modern city: Finland and Shenzhen.

Alvar Aalto Pavilion
Responding to the theme of Absorbing Modernity of this year’s biennale, the presentation sets the two installations in dialogue with the Finnish Pavilion designed in 1956 by Alvar Aalto, one of the most influential characters in shaping the language of modernity in Finland.

The pavilion itself is a tangible expression of the key themes defining modern architecture as a framework of modern life in Finland: the skillful use of natural light in setting the tone of a particular space; the principle of modularity as a means of streamlining the construction process; a careful attention to the choice of materials; and an innovative approach that brings together the local tradition and the cutting edge currents in the international debate.

With the doors kept open at both ends of the pavilion, the modernist structure by Aalto forms a path between the Finnish and the Chinese installation adding its own voice to the dialogue between the three spaces.

Commissioner: Juulia Kauste
Curators: Juulia Kauste and Ole Bouman
Organized by: Museum of Finnish Architecture in collaboration with: Shenzhen BI-CITY Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) and Architecture Information Centre Finland.

Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion 2014 information received 030614

3 Jun 2014

Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion

What is valued in architecture today? This question is answered by the sixth biennial review of Finnish architecture, an exhibition featuring through summer at Helsinki’s Museum of Finnish Architecture. Wide-ranging in content, the show is designed to provide an approachable overview of contemporary Finnish architecture through a rich selection of photographs, drawings, scale models and brief videos featuring the top ten projects.

Finnish Pavilion Venice, by Alvar Aalto architect:
Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion
photos © Adrian Welch

The exhibition showcases a principal selection of ten projects and ten honourable mentions, all completed between July 2011 and June 2013. This year’s selection includes a large number of public buildings and cultural venues, three of which are abroad. Grouping the projects under three headings – Culturing, Learning and Home & Work – the jury narrowed down their selection from 99 nominations.

The jury was chaired by landscape architect Jenny B. Osuldsen representing Norway’s acclaimed Snøhetta practice. Her fellow jury members were architects Marko Kivistö and Sari Schulman. Expert advisory input was provided by Helena Soimakallio, Managing Director and CEO of the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers. The exhibition was designed by architect Philip Tidwell, featuring videos by Jonni Roos and Raimo Uunila.

Intended for both Finnish and international audiences, the review showcases noteworthy recent achievements in Finnish architecture, spurring discussion on a range of current topics related to contemporary architectural design. After completing its run in Helsinki, the exhibition will tour China.

The review is co-organized by the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Alvar Aalto Foundation/ Academy and the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA in collaboration with the Architecture Information Centre Finland.

The exhibition was made possible by funding from the KONE Foundation and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

All the selected projects can be viewed at

Exhibition in the small exhibition hall June 11 – September 28, 2014

Finland has presented regular reviews of its contemporary architecture since the 1950s.
Over the years, these exhibitions have gained special historical significance in revealing the kind of values and expectations that have been associated with Finnish architecture at different periods in history. Conceived by Philip Tidwell, designer of the 2014 review exhibition, the show features posters, scale models and photographs providing an historical overview of Finland Builds exhibitions from 1953 to 1998 and biennials from 2004 to 2012.

This richly illustrated publication provides critical insights into current trends in Finnish
architecture today, with each of the three jury members and four expert writers contributing their unique perspectives to current architectural discourse. Articles were contributed by Rasmus Waern, Swedish architect, historian and architecture critic; architect Jonas Malmberg from the Architectural Heritage Department of the Alvar Aalto Museum; Anni Vartola, architect, Lic, Sc. (Tech) and co-editor of the Nordic Journal of Architectural
Research web periodical, and Helena Soimakallio and Teemu Vehmaskoski representing
the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers. The book is available at the MFA bookshop.

ISBN 978-952-5195-16-3
192 pages, in English
Price EUR 25
Combi-pack with the previous catalogue: EUR 35


Church of Shadows, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Vesa Honkonen Architects
House of Culture Renovation, Helsinki. Architects NRT
Logomo, Turku. Vapaavuori Architects
Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland. Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects

Kaisa House, Helsinki University Library. Anttinen Oiva Architects
Saunalahti School, Espoo. Verstas Architects
Seinäjoki City Library. JKMM Architects

Home & work:
Arctia Shipping Headquarters, Helsinki. K2S Architects
Kaanaankatu Housing, Helsinki. Huttunen–Lipasti–Pakkanen Architects
Villa Bruun, Kuopio. Häkli Architects


Kamppi Chapel, Helsinki. K2S Architects
Silo 468, Helsinki. Lighting Design Collective
Wuxi Grand Theatre, Taihu New City, Wuxi, China. PES Architects

Niemenrantatalo School, Oulu. Architecture Office Karsikas & Alt Architects

Home & work
Aalto Inn, Espoo. Tuomo Siitonen Architects
Café Mattolaituri, Helsinki. Helin & Co Architects
M-M House, Helsinki. Tuomas Siitonen Architects
Three apartments, Helsinki. Roomy Ltd
Sauna Kotiranta, Lahti. lehtinen miettunen architects
Youth Housing, Helsinki. Jukka Turtiainen Architects

Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion information received 030614

Location: Venice Biennale, Italy

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Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion 2014

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