Architectural competition – a glass pavilion will rise on the Bank of Finland Square

Over the next few years, several small glass structures will be built in central Tampere. Respected Finnish and foreign architects have been invited to design the buildings.

State-of-the-art glass technology will be used in the design and implementation of the buildings. The assignment set for the architectural competition, held for the first time this year, was to design a glass pavilion for the Bank of Finland Square. The competition was organised by the City of Tampere, Finnpark, Tampere University of Technology, Glaston and GPD. The goal of the architectural competition was to look into and apply the new opportunities that have opened up in glass architecture and to construct a high-quality landmark in central Tampere that would also serve as a meeting point for Tampere residents.

A boost for Tampere’s architecture

The invitational competition, which the organisers are planning to arrange regularly, and the pavilions and other structures erected in central Tampere are designed to give a boost to Tampere’s current architecture scene. The structure is designed to be the first in a glimmering string of glass pavilion pearls, a wholly new architectural and cultural route through Tampere.

Inviting domestic and international trailblazers in architecture and engineering to compete at regular intervals in designing new elements for this string of structures will certainly increase the visibility of the Tampere region.

A group of renowned international architects were invited to participate in this year’s competition: James Carpenter from New York; Keith Boswell, the head of the San Francisco office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill; the Finnish ALA Arkkitehdit of Helsinki; and Professor Werner Sobek from Stuttgart.

ALA Arkkitehdit’s proposal,” Magnolia”, emerged as the winner

The judges unanimously selected “Magnolia” as the winner of the competition. In the proposal, a greenhouse fashioned in a round shape from triangular parts, is the entrance structure to the underground car park. The proposal calls for the planting of a magnolia tree inside the greenhouse. The triangular glass elements are forged in a mould, using windshield production technology, then laminated together.

According to the judges, “Magnolia” was the only proposal to achieve the illusion of fragility and lightness, inherent in glass, while using the original, authentic features of glass. The piece has the potential to become an internationally interesting sight, Tampere’s new landmark, and a meeting point recognised by the city’s residents.

In their review, the judges emphasised the cityscape-related and innovative properties of the proposal, as well as its originality, the functionality of the entire design and its relationship with the cultural and historical environment, consideration of the sustainable construction aspect, the utilisation of advanced glass technology, and technical and financial feasibility.

”Magnolia” was designed by ALA Arkkitehdit, with the architects Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston responsible for the actual design. The other members of the team were Harri Ahokas, Julius Kekoni, Mikko Kilpeläinen, Gerard Gutierrez, Petra Grisova and Yena Young.

The judging committee comprised the City of Tampere’s city planning director, Jyrki Laiho (chairman); the City of Tampere’s city planning architect, Sakari Leinonen; Professor Hannu Tikka of the Tampere University of Technology; Finnpark Oy’s managing director, Markku Hiltunen; the managing director of Aihio Arkkitehdit, Timo Meuronen; the chairman of the GPD Arrangements Committee, Jorma Vitkala; structural engineer Timothy Macfarlane; and architect Samuli Miettinen, appointed by the Safa Competition Committee. Architect Antti Pirhonen served as the competition’s secretary.

The winner of the competition will be officially announced on 17 June at the opening ceremony of the GPD Conference.

For further information on the architectural competition, please contact: Jyrki Laiho, City of Tampere, tel. +358 3 5656 6325 Hannu Tikka, Tampere University of Technology, tel. +358 50 337 5197 Antti Pirhonen, architect, the competition’s secretary, tel. +358 50 3099122 Jorma Vitkala, Glass Performance Days, tel. +358 10 500 6216

Pictured here is the winning proposal, "Magnolia”, placed in the Bank of Finland Square.

The region's leading glass sector experts, Rakla Rakla Group and Tambest Glass Solutions, will play the most important role in the construction of the structure.

600450 Architectural competition – a glass pavilion will rise on the Bank of Finland Square
Date: 27 June 2011

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