Unfinished revolution - new timber architecture from Finland's forest culture

Astonishing as it may seem, for almost half a century Finland’s timber architecture almost entirely disappeared. Only in the last two decades has the most forested European country begun to return to its timber heritage, seeing this most over-abundant of buildings material as suited for the twenty first century.

This Unstructured 6 Extra focuses on this timber revolution, both finished and unfinished, highlighting new and recent timber hewn projects.

Unstructured Extra 6 also looks at related themes including Aalto University's influential Design & Make Wood Program, the continuing hold of regionalist thinking emanating from the Oulu architectural scene and profile in-depth leading players of the current Newly Drawn generation currently pushing the architectural envelope.

Primary themes

Haltia in the South, Sajos in the North, Finland’s latest timber projects

Another perspective - Oulu, home to architecture’s most northerly school

Wood Program – Elder of Europe’s Design & Make network

Plus - the Newly Drawn generation, timber timelines and the enduring influence of Alvar Aalto on Finnish architecture
New timber projects

Haltia – New timber moves in the land of lakes and forests by Peter MacKeith
Coming Soon
Wood programmer: Haltia’s algorithmic Interior nature environment by Marcus Wikar
Sami sitelines - Lauri Louekari on Sajos Lapland’s new Sami centre
Authentica - Lassila-Hirvalammi’s Jyväskylä ‘almost a gridshell’
Freshly Sketched: ALA, Avanto, K2S and others of Helsinki’s new generation changing the architectural guard
Oulu and the Finnish North

Northern Finland's young Turks: Antti Karsikas on Oulu’s new architectural generation making waves

North of Finlandia – The Oulu Architecture School by Rainer Mahlamaki
Critical OstroBothnia – Oulu’s 80’s architectural scene revisited – by Kari Niskasaari
Hand in Time – Anni Vartola on the enduring influence of Alvar Aalto from the seventies to the naughties

        Helsinki's Wood Program

Wood program
Overview: Where it's at and where's it heading
What to make of all this making - Helsinki's Wood Program by Philip Tidwell
This years modular – Wood Program's Piiri Modular House in pictures
Koe Smoke Sauna - A Wood Program student on a year in studio and the forest
Further - Helsinki's cool wood  School: Pekka Heikkinen's FDR8 Wood Program feature  PDF

Further - Timber timelines – A brief history of contemporary Finnish wood architecture


Antti Karsakis
is an architect working and living in Oulu, as a partner of alt Architects, a member of the Architecture Workshop Tehas and a teacher of contemporary architecture in Oulu School of Architecture

Lauri Louekari is an architect practicing in the north of Finland

Peter MacKeith is Associate Dean at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts within Washington University in St. Louis, has been a long term writer on Nordic architecture and recently curated Lighthouses: On Nordic Common Ground exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale

Rainer Mahlamäki is head of the International Studies at Oulu Architecture School and one of the founding directors of Lahdelma-Mahlamaki Architects.

Kari Niskasaari  is an architect who was centrally involved in the Oulu School as a partner in the NVV practice

Ksenia Rakovskya was a student on the 2011-2012 Wood Program when her Koe Sauna was one the years final projects

Philip Tidwell is an architectural and graphic designer practicing in Helsinki and New York. He is one of the tutors on Wood Program. His work and research focus on the intersection of climate, culture and materiality, particularly in the Nordic countries.

Anni Vartola is an architect and a member of the Aalto University School of arts, design and architecture. This is an edited version of a research working paper written as part of the Alvar Aalto Researcher's Network

Markus Wikar is a Helsinki based architect with a focus on computational design. His practice extends from furniture design to urban planning

Other articles are by Oliver Lowenstein from Fourth Door

Fourth Door acknowledges grateful support from Oulu School of Architecture for this Finnish architectural edition of Unstructured Extra 6