Transcultural Architecture: A seminar on the work of Raili and Reima Pietilä in the Middle East and the restoration of their architecture

Join us in Otaniemi on Wednesday 21 November for a half-day seminar on the work of Finnish architects Raili and Reima Pietilä, their work in Kuwait and Dubai, as well as the restoration of their works in Finland and India.

21.11.2018, 14.00-17.00
Aalto University, Lecture hall U6, Undergraduate Centre, Otakaari 1
Transcultural Architecture

Finnish architects Raili and Reima Pietilä are perhaps best known for the Dipoli building on the Aalto University campus. Their work is often seen as typifying the spirit of place in Finland. But they were also able to apply such thinking to projects outside Finland, notably the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait in the Middle East and the Finnish Embassy in India.

The half-day seminar stems from the work of Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, who has followed the history of the Pietiläs’ Sief Palace area in Kuwait in his book “Transcultural Architecture” (2017). Sadly, his research shows the heavy remodelling of the Pietiläs’ architecture – which nowadays is virtually unrecognizable. Other speakers at the seminar include experts on the work of the Pietiläs’ work, Professor emerita Aino Niskanen, architect-researcher Kristo Veskansa and architect Samuli Woolston of ALA Architects, who made the successful restorations of Dipoli and the Finnish Embassy in India. 

In parallel with the seminar, a small exhibition of Professor Botz-Bornstein’s photos of the fate of the Pietilä’s Ministry Building in Kuwait is on display at Otakaari 1, 2nd floor lobby, 21-30.11.2018.

14.00 Opening of the seminar
14.15 Science fiction on the Gulf – The Pietiläs’ concept plan for Kuwait – Architect Kristo Vesikansa
14.45 Transcultural architecture: Finland in Kuwait – Professor Thorsten Botz-Bornstein
15.30 The Pietiläs and the Deira Sea Corniche in Dubai – Professor emerita Aino Niskanen
16.00 Restoring the architecture of Raili and Reimä Pietilä – Architect Samuli Woolston
16.30 Discussion
17.00 Opening of the photo exhibition: Transcultural Architecture: The fate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kuwait, by Raili and Reima Pietilä, 1985-2018

The seminar is organised by the Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, in cooperation with the Department of Architecture, Aalto University.

The presentations and discussion will be held in English.
The event is free of charge and open to everyone.

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