The Museum of Finnish Architecture opened a new exhibition, Annual Rings 1994–2014, which tells the story of Finnish wood architecture over the past two decades. The focus is on current trends, with the selected projects showcasing the myriad opportunities offered by wood.
The exhibition was inspired by the 20th anniversary of both Aalto University's Wood Program and Wood Award. Another landmark in Finnish wood architecture also occurred twenty years ago with the construction of Lusto, the Finnish Forest Museum. Although wood architecture became commonplace after notable projects in the 1920s and 1930s such as the Antwerp World Fair building, the construction of Lusto in 1994 marked a definitive step towards modern and impressive use of wood in architecture.
“Even though we're in a museum, the exhibition looks not only at the past, but also to the future. When you get all twenty years into perspective, you can see where wood architecture in Finland is heading,” says Director of the Finnish Architecture Museum Juulia Kauste.
Most of the miniatures appearing in the exhibition were made by students studying in Aalto University's Wood Program.
The miniatures are displayed on Metsä Wood plywood and Kerto sheets. Over the years, the actual construction of seven of these buildings has also employed products from Metsä Wood. The majority of the miniatures have been made by students studying in Aalto University's Wood Program. Each course designs and builds a project every year. All previous winners of the Wood Award are also represented in the exhibition, as they too tell us something of the trends in wood architecture and construction over the years.
Kupla (Bubble) is an observation tower built for Helsinki's Korkeasaari Zoo in 2002 – and which still stands today. Metsä Wood also supported this Aalto University Wood Program coursework in its day.
“The exhibition is worth a visit, as you can experience the entire spectrum of wood construction in one go. It really is everything,” says Kauste.
Let's take churches as an example: Kärsämäki Church, which was built using 18th-century construction methods, and the Kamppi Chapel, which employed cutting-edge woodworking methods. Yet miniatures of saunas and summer cottages – the heart of Finnish identity – are equally well represented.
“Annual Rings 1994–2014. A New Generation of Finnish Architecture” runs until 25 January 2015 at the Museum of Finnish Architecture (Kasarmikatu 24, Helsinki). Other supporters of this exhibition in addition to Metsä Wood are Lakea Oy, Puuinfo, and Suomen Tuulileijona Oy.
Tues–Sun 11 am – 6 pm
Weds 11 am – 8 pm
Study starts here: Wood Program students' first encounters with wood.