2018-19 YEAR 3



Studies in Finnish White

The project proposes a new typology for civic institutional buildings that is more akin to a church where the space can be described as sublime. This is most appropriate in Helsinki, (Finland) where dramatic solar patterns means that light is a prominent feature in Nordic culture. When light is present in a building it can be celebrated through careful design that enhances or manipulates the sunlight from the low northern sun. An interest in ethnic diversity and length of journey for an economic migrant or refugee was sparked by Finland’s remote location in the North of Europe. Further interest in the science of psychogeography (how changes to one’s environment affects one’s behaviour), created a friction between the social and geographical context of the programme; an Immigration Welcome Centre.
The architecture of the Welcome Centre aims to acclimatise newcomers to the Nordic light and landscape through the organisation of spaces that reference the Finnish forest, and the use of surface textures that highlight and modulate light. The spaces were designed through a careful study of Finnish landscape paintings, that are a successful and translatable representation of Nordic light. Using a lighting rig to simulate the British and Finnish sun paths, architectural fragments were designed and measured against the atmospheric intention or lighting condition set by the landscape paintings.

Tutors: Thomas Pearce, Greg Storrar