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Architecture students designed a wooden pavilion in front of the Design Museum

The pavilion is a Finnish-British modern interpretation of a tea house.
Kuva: Mikko Raskinen
Photos: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

A wooden pavilion designed and implemented by architecture students at Aalto University and Westminster University, London, opened today in front of the Design Museum in Helsinki.

The initiative for the tea house came from the Finnish Institute in London, to celebrate the centennial of the diplomatic relations between Finland and Britain.

The project was supervised by Aalto University alumnus, Finnish architect Sami Rintala, who has specialized in wood construction and acts as a visiting lecturer in the Westminster University, London.

‘The students and us teachers discussed what Englishness is and how the English tea drinking culture can be seen. Then we talked about how these can be explored in architecture. The final product combines Finnish wood and English tea drinking’, Rintala tells about the starting point for the design.

Kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Co-operation between wood construction experts

The structure of the pavilion is based on a traditional English tea house, a timber-framed Tudor house, which has been reinterpreted. The Finnish side of the design is in the way wood is being used.

‘What is interesting in this case is the educational cooperation between the UK and our architecture students, the new way of interpreting English tea tradition and inventive use of wood’, says Pekka Heikkinen, Head of Department of Architecture at Aalto University.

‘We aim to provide our students a way to learn by doing. We are all – Rintala, Westminster and Aalto University – merited in this kind of teaching, so it was interesting to see what will result out of this quick implementation case.’

The tea pavilion that opened today is open until 15 September, until the end of the Helsinki Design Week (HDW). Visitors can have tea at the pavilion and various design week events will be organized there.

Timber for the structure has been supplied by Versowood Oy.

For more information:

Head of Department of Architecture Pekka Heikkinen, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, +358 50 377 3786, [email protected]

Producer Ransu Helenius, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, +358 50 54 74 179, [email protected]

Finnish Institute in London: Architect Sami Rintala: Tea pavilion combines Finnish wood and English tea drinking

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