Interior renovation of Aalto University Library, vs Harald Herlin Learning Centre by JKMM

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Interior Architects
Lead Architects
Arkkitehdit NRT Oy
Interior Design
Interior Architect Team
Päivi Meuronen, Noora Liesimaa, Rami Lehtimäki
Service Design.- Kuudes Kerros Oy Refurbishment Exterior.- Arkkitehdit NRT Oy Lightning.- Artisan Rinaldo Fixed Furnishing.- Retent As Non-Fixed Furnishings.- Verhoiluliike Wiik Oy ja Verhoomo Julkistila Oy Manufacturers.- KVADRAT, Woodnotes, Artek, Wastberg
Aalto University Campus & Real Estate
NCC Rakennus Oy
7505.0 m²
Project Year.- 2016-2017
Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland


Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) qualified as an architect from Helsinki Institute of Technology (later Helsinki University of Technology and now part of the Aalto University) in 1921. He set up his first architectural practice in Jyväskylä. His early works followed the tenets of Nordic Classicism, the predominant style at that time. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, he made a number of journeys to Europe on which he and his wife Aino Marsio, also an architect, became familiar with the latest trends in Modernism, the International Style.

The pure Functionalist phase in Aalto’s work lasted for several years. It enabled him to make an international breakthrough, largely because of Paimio Sanatorium (1929-1933), an important Functionalist milestone. Aalto had adopted the principals of user-friendly, functional design in his architecture. From the late 1930s onwards, the architectural expression of Aalto’s buildings became enriched by the use of organic forms, natural materials and increasing freedom in the handling of space.

From the 1950s onwards, Aalto’s architectural practice was employed principally on the design of public buildings, such as Säynätsalo Town Hall (1948-1952), the Jyväskylä Institute of Pedagogics, now the University of Jyväskylä (1951-1957), and the House of Culture in Helsinki (1952-1956). His urban design master plans represent larger projects than the buildings mentioned above, the most notable schemes that were built being Seinäjoki city centre (1956-1965/87), Rovaniemi city centre (1963-1976/88) and the partly built Jyväskylä administrative and cultural centre (1970-1982).

From the early 1950s onwards, Alvar Aalto’s work focused more and more on countries outside Finland, so that a number of buildings both private and public were built to his designs abroad. Some of his best-known works include Villa Mairea, Noormarkku, Finland (1937–1939), the Finnish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair, Baker House, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1947–1948), Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland (1949–1966), The Experimental House, Muuratsalo, Finland (1953) or Essen opera house, Essen, Germany (1959–1988).

Architects JKMM

JKMM Architects is a group of architects and designers based in Helsinki, Finland. We started in 1998 with four founding partners – Asmo Jaaksi, Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen and Juha Mäki-Jyllilä. Today, we are a team of more than 70 people.

The American Architectural Record chosen JKMM as one of the “10 Emerging New Firms in the World”. Our works have been presented in various exhibitions including Venice Biennale, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

  • Hurraa! 2016 Award, The New Harald Herlin Learning Centre
  • Finnish Glass Structure Award 2016, OP Financial Group's New Headquarter
  • Rose for Building 2015, OP Financial Group's New Headquarter
  • Steel Structure 2015, OP Financial Group's New Headquarter
  • Tekla Global BIM Awards –award 2014, Total Bim -category, OP Financial Group's New Headquarter
  • Concrete Structure of 2012, Seinäjoki Library
  • Lighting project of the year 2011, exterior, Saunalahden Lastentalo
  • Shanghai Expo 2010, best pavilion design and architecture, kategory B, Kirnu, BIE (Bureau International des Expositions)
  • Finnish State Award of Architecture 2007
  • Steel Structure of 2007, Verkatehdas Cultural Center
  • Glass Structure of 2007, Verkatehdas Cultural Center
  • Forum Aid Prize, Best Nordic Interior 2007, nominee, Verkatehdas Cultural Center
  • Concrete Structure of 2007, Turku City Library
  • Frame The Great Indoors-Award-Nominee 2007, Viikki church
  • Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, Viikki church, 2006
  • Pietilä Award, 2006

Asmo Jaaksi, Principal Architect, Amos Rex
Architect SAFA, partner

Asmo Jaaksi (born in 1966) studied architecture at Tampere University of Technology graduating 1997. He is a founding part- ner of JKMM Architects and has specialised in designing public buildings. His works reflect the values of inclusiveness and humanity combined with practicality and focus on materiality and details. Asmo Jaaksi’s major works as the principal architect are: Amos Rex art museum; Academy of Fine Arts building in Helsinki; Think Corner in University of Helsinki; OP Financial Group headquarters; Seinäjoki City Library; Turku Main Library; and Joensuu University Aurora building.

Freja Ståhlberg-Aalto, Project Architect, Amos Rex
Architect SAFA

Freja Ståhlberg-Aalto (born in 1973) graduated in Architecture from Helsinki University of Technology in 2001. At JKMM, she has been involved in the design of award winning buildings such Seinäjoki Public Library, Verkatehdas Arts & Congress Cen- tre and Turku New City Library. Since 2014, she has worked as the project architect of Amos Rex. She is now in the final phase of her doctoral research project focusing on the role of aesthet- ics in the care environment. She has held a part time teaching position at the Department of Architecture, Aalto University.

Päivi Meuronen, Architect specialising in Interiors, Amos Rex
Interior Architect SIO

Päivi Meuronen (1967) graduated in Interior Architecture from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki and has been the driving force behind JKMM Architects’ interior designs since 2003. She leads a team of 18 at JKMM specialising in interiors. The team has been successful in creating projects where JKMM’s architecture and interior design form a seamless unity. JKMM’s interior for the recently restored Alvar Aalto designed library in Otaniemi was awarded the Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2017.

Katja Savolainen, Restoration Architect, Amos Rex
Architect SAFA

Katja Savolainen (born in 1969) graduated in Architecture from Helsinki University of Technology in 1999. She has been special- ising in conservation architecture since 2000. In 2004 she joined JKMM where, as part of the Amos Rex project, she has been responsible for the restoration of the Functionalist Lasipalatsi building in addition to a number of other historically significant projects around Finland. Katja has also been teaching and re- searching traditional building methods and their restoration with a particular interest in wooden structures.

Arkkitehdit NRT Oy

Arkkitehdit NRT Oy. Helsinki based firm by Raimoranta, Kari, Tasa, Jyrki and Tuomi, Teemu.



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