6/2019 Economy

What are the connections between architecture and economy? How does the current economic system affect architecture, our cities and buildings?

Although the impact of economic trends on architectural practice is very real, as architects, we seem not too keen on looking into the structures of the economy. Obviously economic prospects enable business opportunities, but all construction, regeneration, demolition, preservation and protection are nonetheless financial decisions. 

The issue looks into the varied linkages between architecture and economy. Lee Marable discusses the late capitalist privatised urban spaces in Kalasatama district in Helsinki. Roy Mänttäri shares impressions from a final visit to the 1970s Lepola Chapel in Kouvola, an example of the dire financially motivated destiny faced by many modernist buildings despite their proven architectural merits.

Climate change and other environmental challenges are also affecting the future economic models. In her column, Nani Pajunen makes the case for taking circular economy seriously among architectural professionals. The Danish firm 3XN on the other hand, has already experience from turning sustainable architecture into an exportable business. Antti Auvinen and Kristian Äijö offer an introduction to object-oriented ontology – a novel philosophical take on design, going beyond our human-centric built environment.

The Strait Culture and Art Centre in Fuzhou, designed by the Finnish firm PES Architcts, exemplifies the contemporary economic optimism in the Chinese context. Back in Helsinki, we discuss with architect Jani Prunnila about the design and development of the exclusive housing project Grand Residence 21. Among other projects, the issues presents the new offices of the internet-era banking service Holvi by AOR Architects, as well as the design-minded industrial and infrastructural architecture of the Kalasatama Electricity Substation by Virkkunen & Co Architects.


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Editorial | The Long Run
Mika Savela

Statistics | Architecture & Economy

Survey | Ecological Favourites

Greetings from the Triennials

The Poetic Potential in Structures
Marianna Wahlsten

On Doughnuts, Definitions, and the Troubles with Exhibiting
Dubravka Sekulić

The Curious OOO
Antti Auvinen
Kristian Äijö

3XN – 20 Years of Exporting Danish Sustainable Architecture
Emma Hannula

Chapel Demolition
Roy Mänttäri

The Late-Capitalist City
Lee Marable

Suburban Places at Urban Density
Lee Marable


Fuzhou Strait Culture and Art Centre

Interview | Culture in the Big League

Holvi Helsinki Office
AOR Architects

Interview | An Office for the New Economy

Kalasatama Electricity Substation
Virkkunen & Co Architects

Interview | The Urban Power Station

Grand Residence 21
Jani Prunnila, Joarc Architects

Interview | Past and Future Luxury

Column | Architects Are Guarding the Future of Circular Economy
Nani Pajunen


Book | Raquel Rolnik: Urban Warfare. Housing under the Empire of Finance (Leonard Ma)

Book | Kaisa Broner: Visions of Architecture. Reima Pietilä and the Meanings of Form (Kristo Vesikansa)

Exhibition | Birger Carlstedt: Le Chat Doré, Amos Rex (Kimmo Sarje)