Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015 shortlist announced

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015 shortlist announced

The Finnish Association of Architects has revealed the five buildings competing for the second Finlandia Prize for Architecture, including a pre-weathered steel arts centre, a timber-framed apartment block and a waterside housing complex (+ slideshow).

Billed as the architectural equivalent of the prestigious annual Finlandia Prize for Literature, the award recognises the best new building either in Finland or by a Finnish architect.

Merenkulkijanranta residential block by NRT Architects
Merenkulkijanranta residential block by NRT Architects

The five shortlisted projects are Puukuokka apartment building by OOPEAA; Kangasala Arts Centre by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects; OP Financial Group Headquarters by JKMM Architects; Merenkulkijanranta residential block by NRT Architects; and Opinmäki School by Arkkitehtitoimisto Esa Ruskeepää Oy.

Puukuokka apartment building by OOPEAA
Puukuokka apartment building by OOPEAA

The list was drawn up by a jury chaired by Finnish Architectural Review editor-in-chief Jorma Mukala, and including Museum of Finnish Architecture director Juulia Kauste, architect Eero Lundén and Aalto University's Pirjo Sanaksenaho.

Kangasala Arts Centre by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects
Kangasala Arts Centre by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects

"The list of finalists is diverse, including an office block as well as public and multi-storey residential buildings," said Mukala.

"The sites range from compact urban environs to a suburb and a complete new housing district. In the same vein, the designers represent several generations – from those entering the profession in the 1960s to the architects of the 2000s."

OP Financial Group Headquarters by JKMM Architects
OP Financial Group Headquarters by JKMM Architects

The winner will be selected by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho – because the organisers wanted a judge established in a cultural field other than architecture. It will be revealed in a ceremony at the Media Centre Lume in Helsinki on 23 September 2015.

"I've always taken a keen interest in architecture and of course concert halls," she commented. "When visiting the buildings now proposed for the prize, I gave much thought to how deeply architecture affects our lives on a daily basis."

Opinmäki School by Arkkitehtitoimisto Esa Ruskeepää Oy
Opinmäki School by Arkkitehtitoimisto Esa Ruskeepää Oy

The prize was launched by the Finnish Association of Architects in 2014 to promote the value of high-quality architecture. The first winner was the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland, by Helsinki firm Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects.