utö pavilions

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pavilion site

BREIF: Utö, Korpo, Finland- the most southerly inhabited island in the Finnish archipelago; home to one of the oldest stone lighthouses in Finland and pilots whose expertise navigates ships through the island cluttered waters toward Helsinki and Stockholm. Occupied by the Swedish, Russian and Finnish militaries over many years, the island is riddled with bunkers that, now abandoned, have begun to be reclaimed by nature. The island is also a popular stop-over for a large variety of birds. The pavilions were commissioned by the islanders in order to provide a semi-sheltered place for bird watching, gazing at the sea and watercolor painting. A competition was held and the two ultimately constructed pavilions are the result of collaboration between the 19 students who spent the semester studying and living in Helsinki.

Construction time for the two pavilions was approximately four days and used untreated pine so as to allow the harsh island conditions to age the wood over time. Due to the limited resources and lack of electrical supply to the site, as much preparation as possible was completed ahead of time. Detailing remained simple for this reason as well. The Spiral pavilion is constructed of a series of frames which ‘settle’ into to the unpredictable geometry of the bedrock making it not only adaptable to, but its form a reflection of the place. The Box sits rather in opposition to the rocky terrain. Its geometric form stands as a volume against the horizon and is also reminiscent of traditional grain storage structures used on the mainland.

Read the Finnish Architectural Review (ARK) article here.

studioLOCUS film short- construction of the “box” pavilion
[click on thumbnails to enlarge]


view to the sea
photo (and feet) jouni kaipia

One Response to utö pavilions

  1. Tracey Swanson says:

    Very cool. It’s fun to see the part where you changed your mind and reconfigured the structure a little.

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