Tuomo Siitonen Architects: Studio Widnäs. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.
Tuomo Siitonen Architects: Studio Widnäs. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.

The Finnish Architectural Review 3/2016: Structure, material, sustainability

Football and sports stadiums are venues for large audiences and great emotions. This is right now visible in the media, as the European Football Championship matches are being played out in France. Stadiums are event venues, but, at the same time, they are often displays of structurally interesting and innovative architecture. The latest issue of the Finnish Architectural Review takes a look at structural architecture.

Architect Mikko Summanen discusses the latest forms of structurality in the light of examples from Finland and abroad, including a venue for the championship matches – the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux (Herzog & de Meuron, 2015). Summanen sees structurality as “the art of necessities”: beauty is not created by adding something extra special, but by utilising the parts that are necessary. He expects that the requirements set by sustainable development for materials will create novel constructivist architecture in the coming years.

In his article, architect Kimmo Lylykangas clarifies how the sustainability of a building should be evaluated. Image-based sustainability may not in reality represent any serious efforts to create sustainability, but, rather, reflects the image-building of the developer or the architects’ office. Lylykangas promotes an approach based on systems thinking as the method for evaluating sustainability, since the objective of such an approach is to understand how the entire system works. In such an evaluation, qualitative factors are more relevant than quantitative parameters.

The articles present various perspectives that exemplify the materiality of architecture. “When the structure performs its function with as little material as possible, it is a case of mind over matter”, writes Professor Emeritus and experienced architect Tuomo Siitonen.

The issue presents two new football arenas in Finland. The Rovaniemi Sports Arena grandstand Railo brings a northern dimension to the game. In Tampere, the new stadium to be built in the Tammela area will ‘cross the ball’ over into the urban field: the blocks surrounding the football field will house apartments, and the stadium entity will complement the city structure.

Bridges are strong structural elements that also play a significant role in the cityscape. Isoisänsilta bridge in Helsinki is an elegant, arched addition to the urban landscape by the sea. The issue also presents the new, positively received headquarters of the OP Financial Group in Vallila, Helsinki. This office building renews an old city block, and the balance of materials and structures creates a new-generation working environment.

Featured buildings:

  • Isoisänsilta bridge, Kalasatama–Mustikkamaa, Helsinki / Pontek
  • Railo, the Rovaniemi Sports Arena grandstand / APRT
  • Tammela Football Stadium project, Tampere / JKMM
  • OP Vallila, Helsinki / JKMM

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