In 2017, an international group of architects collaborated with the Finnish National Museum to deliver a programme of contemporary architecture for the Seurasaari Open Air Museum in Helsinki, Finland. As part of the programme, an installation called Y was constructed in the historical Niemelä Tenant Farm courtyard, which was displayed next to 13 examples of traditional Finnish architecture sourced from the Open Air Museum.
The Open Air Museum opened to the public in 1909 in order to educate people on the history of wooden buildings and architectural practice throughout the country. The architecture within the Niemelä Tenant Farm showcases the prevalence of wooden buildings in Finland and how it is deeply rooted in Finish architectural history. The site includes an old smoke sauna, and a house built in 1844.
Designed by &' Architects, the construction of Y brought a contemporary architectural dialogue the local area and provided a meditative location from which to reflect on the changing state of time, and the architectural structures surrounding the site. “Tradition is born out of continuation and the sharing of knowledge and skills-the conjunction of new and old,” &'
Architects explain. “As Y is the mathematical symbol for the unknown, the installation Y points to the future and the possible outcomes of Nordic built heritage.”
Y combines digital fabrication with handcraft and reflects the past, present and future direction of timber in the built environment. It encourages cross-border collaboration between carpenters and architects, and a combination of traditional carpentry methods with digital fabrication. Y is built with horizontal prefabricated cross laminated timber (CLT) interlocked with 568 timber wedges.
To view more about the project, click here
All image credits: SWANG