e3 in Berlin a 7-storey Timber Frame building.
Congratulations go to Sitra and HDL there for helping to reshape the fire regulations in Finland. Previously although Finnforest has a 5-storey office and there are some 3 to 4 storey buildings with wooden frames in Finland you couldn’t really go higher. But now the revision of the regulations has prompted SRV and Stora Enso to collaborate on building multi-storey buildings in Jätkäsaari with wooden structural frames.
This is a beautiful example of path dependence in Architecture. A good or bad decision which may at first have a small or marginal effect will, as other events knock on from this in turn amplify the effect until a large difference has been made. The revision of a few lines of text in a building code has in turn caused a timber building trial, which hopefully will in turn amplify out to wider building practice. It goes to show that the effort of creating great cities and places to live is not just about good urban planing, but good strategic design.
Hopefully we will soon see buildings to rival the seven-storey e3 building in Berlin going up all over Finland.
It’s been long expected, but finally announced, there will be an international competition to design Helsinki Library beginning of 2012. The site is in Töölönlahti, in the area between the Makasiinipuisto park and the Töölönlahdenkatu street.
update: there is now a website to keep everyone updated about the project. Not to mention Facebook page and twitter feed.
Urbanised is a film about the city which looks good. The trailer is worth watching alone for the Norman Foster #facepalm.
A great review of the Lloyds building on which I posted the comment below:
Thanks for this brilliant review of what remain one of my favourite buildings also.
Just to play devils advocate for a minute a number of apparent contradictions you bring up in your review could be resolved by reading the building in Baudrillard’s Postmodern way.
Lloyd’s actually really is an oil rig or rather an insurance rig. It symbolises the Lloyds market much better that the clasisist buildings it replaces. The image of the old fashioned, insurance man or banker is actually the fake and the ‘oil rig’ the real Lloyds. It expands or contracts with the ravenous market it houses. Sometimes growing in good times when it hits seam of easy insurance money and sometimes almost engulfed by the waves of unforseen risk like a huge wave of asbestos litigation for example.
The insurance men living the lie of the stuffy responsible reliable middle age underwriter naturally rebel against this exposed reality and seek refuge in keeping their trinkets, a bell here, a dining room there, all struggling against the deep truth they can barely acknowledge…that this unsatiable market and indeed themselves are perfectly represented by Rogers’ design.
If a decision was made to build an undersea rail tunnel between the two cities, the price tag of that might be in the region of two to three billion euros (via)
Someone is still dreaming about this it seems.
This housing development in Töölö is distinguished by a few things. Its a bold riff on the traditional Helsinki prewar housing block without resorting to po-mo ‘irony’. A recent Article in the current edition of Ark reminded me of the project and that I had taken some photos of it a few years back.
Architects Tuomo Siitonen Architects
Finland rightly deserves attention today as a nation that treats its children as a precious resource and that honors the adults who make education their passion and their career. – Diane Ravitch in Ed Week
A good article with interesting comments ranging from the excellent to the downright racist. For the record as a father of two bringing up kids in Finland I have nothing but praise for the education system here at least in the early years.
…if a detached house here in Finland wanted to produce all of its electricity using solar power, an investment of some 6,000-7,000 euros would grant cost-free electricity usage for the entire household from that point onwards - Peter Lund from the Aalto University
So it may not be unreasonable here in Finland after all to have some significant solar power use.
At some point this was my dream, to convert an old traditional black house. Someone else got there first though.
The Future History of the Arctic by Charles Emerson (amazon.uk.com)
The Arctic is one of man’s frontiers geopolitically, physically and psychologically. Recently the area has been the subject of renewed interest, as the icecaps melt it could be the place where new trade routes open up. Where oil and gas wealth are stored if only they could be exploited, where countries identify themselves and play the game of Risk in the real world. This book covers all these things and more.
It is a history of the Arctic covering its relationship to the Americas, Scandinavia and Russia Historically. It has a good section on global warming and what that means now and in the future for the region. It looks at the search and exploitation of oil and gas in the region, most interestingly by Norway and Russia. Most importantly for readers it links these strands together for the most part successfully.
The book started for me a little dryly but hit it’s bootstraps when Charles Emerson turned his attention to Russia and the old Soviet, and from there it didn’t look back. Recommended reading for anyone who might find these subjects interesting or who wants to explore an unknown frontier for themselves.
There are other eco cities much talked about at the moment Masdar city or Dongtan to name a couple off the top of my head but Hammarby Sjöstad, a redevelopment in Stockholm Sweden is not one of them. It started out as a redevelopment of an old, barely legal, and much contaminated industrial area, part of Stockholm’s 2004 Olympic bid and meant as a sustainable athletes village. They lost the Olympics to Athens but development of Hammarby continued and now it has become a model for other ecological developments over the world. I visited it a few weeks ago and was really impressed. Whereas Dongtan exists only on blogs and in the dreams of paddy fields, Hammarsby is very real. Whereas Masdar city pasted between golf clubs, and an International Airport is a future city in the making, it isn’t about sustainable living now so much as attracting development and business opportunities. Hammarby is about changing the city that you see when you look outside the window now.