• Arch. Anssi LASSILA

    Guest Speaker, Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015, Finland

    Arch. Anssi LASSILA

    Guest Speaker, Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015, Finland



    Founder OOPEAA, Finland


    Puukuokka Housing Block

    Completed in November 2014, Puukuokka is the first eight-story high wooden apartment building in Finland. It explores the potential of modular prefabricated CLT construction to meet the goal of providing high quality, environmentally responsible and affordable housing. Commissioned and built by Lakea, it is an energy-efficient and ecological trio of multi-story wood-framed apartment buildings in the Jyväskylä suburb of Kuokkala.

    The entire load bearing structure and frame is made of massive wood and composed of prefabricated volumetric CLT modules. Also the facade elements that are prepared separately and brought to site ready for assembly are entirely of wood. Spruce has been used in the facades facing the street, and untreated larch had been used in the interior courtyard side. The spruce has been treated with a coat of dark paint and the larch in the interior courtyard will turn silvery grey over time. The town plan created in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä has been tailored to meet the needs of the building complex. Puukuokka pilots an innovative lease-to-own financing strategy that aims to support social sustainability by promoting stable communities.

    In Puukuokka, the goal was to find a solution that makes the best possible use of the technical and aesthetic qualities of CLT and to create a wooden building in large scale with a distinct architectonic expression of its own. The goal was to create a building that combines the sense of privacy of a single-family dwelling with the semi-public character of the shared spaces of an apartment building. The vision is to provide the residents with a functional space rich in experiential qualities.

    Puukuokka served as a pilot case to develop and test a CLT based system of volumetric modules. Working with CLT enabled several important aspects in the project: The use of CLT made it possible to create a spacious hallway and atrium space with a lot of light realized in an energy efficient manner as a semi-warm space. Thanks to the insulating qualities of massive wood, the use of CLT allows for controlling the temperature of the individual apartments independently from that of the hallway space. In addition, the use of prefabricated volumetric CLT modules made it possible to integrate the piping for heat, water, electricity and ventilation in the wall structure in the hallway allowing for an efficient organization of the plan and making it possible to maximize the space allotted for each apartment.

    The prefabricated modules are made of spruce. Each apartment is composed of two modules, one housing the living room, the balcony and the bedroom, the other housing the bathroom, the kitchen and the foyer area. The use of prefabricated modules made it possible to cut the construction time on site down to six months and to reduce the exposure to weather conditions. That made it possible to achieve a higher quality in the end result. Working with CLT also made it possible to create a building with a primary load bearing structure and frame fully made of wood. The CLT modules are prefabricated in a local factory in Hartola less than two hours away from the site of Puukuokka.


    Archdaily Building of the Year Award finalist, Puukuokka Housing Block, 2016
    Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015, Puukuokka Housing Block, 2015
    Wood Prize 2015, Puukuokka Housing Block, 2015
    SD Review 2015, Periscope Tower, 2015
    The Plan Awards 2015, shortlisted project, Puukuokka Housing Block, 2015
    Wood Prize 2014, honourable mention, House Riihi, 2014
    European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van der Rohe Award, nominee, House Riihi, 2014
    BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2013-2014, nominee, 2014
    International Iakov Chernikhov Prize for Young Architects, nominee, 2012-13
    European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van der Rohe Award, selected work, Kuokkala Church, 2011
    Arkitekturmässan Awards 2011, Vaasan Kompassi, 2011
    Red Dot Design Award 2011, Kuokkala Church, 2011


    The Finnish architect Anssi Lassila was born in Soini in 1973. He graduated with the grade “excellent” and a special mention from the Department of Architecture, University of Oulu 2002. His international breakthrough was the Kärsämäki Shingle Church (2004). Lassila lives and works in Seinäjoki and in Helsinki, Finland. He is the founder and principal partner of OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture formerly known as Lassila Hirvilammi Architects Ltd. OOPEAA works on a large variety of different types of projects: churches, office buildings, housing, private houses, interior design, and renovations. The firm currently employs a staff of 10 and has offices in Seinajoki and Helsinki, Finland. The office has been honored with significant awards and nominations and has won several prizes in architecture competitions.OOPEAA has quickly gained a distinctive position among young Finnish architectural practices. Lassila’s architecture displays his interest in combining a sculptural form with traditional materials and building techniques.

    Anssi Lassila was one of the members of the Jury of Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition and member of the jury for several architectural competitions Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, starting with 2002. Between 2011-2013 he was the chair of The Architectural Competitions’ Committee of the
    Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA).

    OPEAA strives for an architecture that finds its inspiration in the state of being in-between – between urban and rural, but always in relationship to both; between a deep respect for tradition and an appreciation of the contemporary; rooted in the local and yet part of a larger international context.