Prominent 21st century architecture in Finland

Recent Finnish architecture of note includes civic, cultural and religious works, ranging in style from neo-modernism to the more culturally referenced.

Four buildings covered with glass windows placed right beside each other very close to the habour. They each have a crane-like structure in the front. That means - poles geometrically structured across each other for a strong hold.
Kai Wartiainen, Ruoholahti High Tech centre (2001), Helsinki. The series of crane-like structures on the west harbour houses both IT companies and educational facilities. Photo: Krysta Mae Dimick

The multi-use Kamppi Centre (2006) in Helsinki, executed by a consortium of architects, exemplifies a new scale of urban intervention for Finland. Near the Kamppi Centre are LPR Architect’s Music Centre (2011), ALA Architects’ Central Library (2018), Helin&Co Architects’ Finnish Parliament House addition (2004), and JKMM Architects’ Amos Rex contemporary art museum (2018). Other critical civic works include Laiho-Pulkkinen-Raunio’s Turku Art Academy (2000), the Sibelius Hall (2000) in Lahti by Lintula and Tikka, JKMM Architects’ Turku main library (2006), Juhani Pallasmaa’s Korundi House of Culture (2011) in Rovaniemi, and Anttinen Oiva Architects’ Helsinki University library (2010).

A long rektangular horisontal building in greenish glass. Beside the building, there is a long tall tower.

LRP Architects, Music Centre (2011), Helsinki. The green copper-paneled auditorium volume is set with an elegant glazed foyer. Photo: Krysta Mae Dimick

Recent waterfront works include the Allas sea pool (2017) by Huttunen Lipasti Pakkanen Architects, avanto architects’ Loyly sauna (2016), and ARK-House Architects’ Seafarers’ Centre (2009) – all in Helsinki – and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects' Maritime Centre Vellamo (2008) in Kotka.

While Arto Sipinen’s Innova office tower (2004), Heikkinen and Komonen’s Emergency Services College (2005) in Kuopio, and ARK-House’s Korona Information Centre (2000) demonstrate a rigorous neo-modernism, Kai Wartiainen’s crane-like Ruoholahti High Tech centre (2001), Nurmela-Raimoranta-Tasa’s Katajanokanranta housing complex (2006), JKMM Architects’ animated Seinäjoki library (2012), and alt Architects’ Lehtikangas elementary school (2017) are more exploratory design expressions.

Inside the chapel, closed stone-room with rows of benches to sit on. At the end of the chapel, there is a pillar for the speakers.

K2S Architects, Kamppi chapel of silence (2012), Helsinki. The elegantly crafted wooden chapel is a place of quiet, repose, and contemplation in the busy world of downtown Helsinki. Photo: Krysta Mae Dimick

Religious architecture represents among the best culturally referenced, place-distinctive works in Finland. These include K2S Architects’ Kamppi Chapel of Silence (2012), JKMM Architects’ Viikki Church (2005), Juha Leiviskä’s Helsinki Church of the Good Shepard (2002), Matti Sanaksenaho’s St Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel (2005) in Turku, and Järvinen & Nieminen’s Laajasalo church (2003) in Helsinki. Lassila Hirvilammi Architects produced three significantly striking works: The Klaukkala church (2004), the Kärsämäki church (2004), and the Koukkala church (2010) in Jyväskylä.

HALO Architects’ Sami cultural centre and parliament house Sajos (2012) in Inari has elliptical parliament and auditorium spaces placed within a curved cross-shaped form.

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