High-quality architecture is sustainable by nature. If thoughtfully designed and well maintained, it can last forever. But what defines architectural quality? Besides structural and functional aspects there are aesthetic properties, too. Façades become particularly important here. The outermost layer of buildings - materials, finishes, colours, joints, forms, proportions and depth - strongly define the quality of urban space.
It is at this intersection of urban planning and building design where we positioned ourselves and our students for a semester of inquiry. The task was to design street façades at an urban site in Helsinki. The aim was to establish a language that is formally consistent and sustainable.
We began by assigning each student one existing building in Helsinki to investigate and develop a general understanding of façades. By producing detailed elevation drawings and by describing the façade objectively in written form the students got to know various tools and strategies for designing façades.
Working group: Jenni Reuter, associate professor of architectural principles and theory, Department of Architecture, Satu Mahringer, teacher, Simon Mahringer, teacher (Aalto University). MA students: Aapo Airas, Zhuo Chen, Mia Gröhn, Anna Markkula, Jesper Magerøy, Antti Mikola, Eerik Sillanpää, Sonja Winberg, Ying Zhang (Aalto University)
Contact: [email protected]
Designs for a Cooler Planet – Helsinki Design Week 2019
During September 2019, Aalto University's exhibition programme for Helsinki Design Week, titled 'Designs for a Cooler Planet' will introduce solutions for more sustainable lifestyles in Otaniemi