The reform of Finnish Land Use and Building Act was activated two years ago. The ongoing process also provides an opportunity to examine rules and regulations from a wider perspective. In which framework of norms, rules, agreements, facts, illusions or practices architecture and planning are carried out? Why does architecture need rules and regulations?
In the issue, Lauri Jääskeläinen charts the history of land use and building regulations in Finland. Jori Uusitalo and Valentin Valotie discuss the fact that in Finland, the regulations concerning natural light in dwellings mainly focus on window sizes, which does not actually convey much about natural light in the units.
Wood is gaining a foothold as a building material – but using wood requires adopting a new mindset and also new regulations. In the issue, Andrew Waugh from Waugh Thistleton Architects talks about the office’s ideology concerning increasing the use of wood as a primary building material in their project. In Finland, Puukuokka in Jyväskylä and Lighthouse in Joensuu have both been pioneers in wood building.
Various rules restricting the design process, both written and unwritten, from protection to energy and accessibility regulations are also present in the projects featured in the issue. European Chemicals Agency ECHA is built around and within protected dockyard workshops. Villa Askainen and Matchbox Houses were born out of the rules posed by the surrounding natural elements. In Hansakallion Helmi Housing, the creative relief-like brick facade was the result of a strict budget and requirements posed by the detail plan.
The rules can also rise from within. Lee Marable examines the phenomena of architects seeking to promote voluntary ethical standards in the field. What kind of rules should an ethical architectural practice follow, anyway? Critical thinking is also demanded from the professionals by five students of architecture from Aalto University. They want to question the existing values and practices through bottom-up activism taking the form of You Tell Me evening school event series.
Editorial | Fences and Thresholds
The Long Life of Regulation
Wood Architect on Fire – interview with Andrew Waugh
Tall, Wooden, Finnish
The Pursuit of a Bright Apartment
Jori Uusitalo, Valentin Valotie
Comment | “Natural light affects the perceived spaciousness and adaptability of an apartment”
→ European Chemicals Agency ECHA
Interview | The Faces of the Dockyard
→ Villa Askainen
Interview | Simple Luxury
→ Matchbox Houses
Interview | Playing with Boxes
→ Hansakallion Helmi Housing
Interview | Thoughtful Patterns
Column | Critical Thinking Wanted
Matti Jänkälä, Svenja Lindner, Heljä Nieminen, Hilda Uusitalo
Exhibition | Miracles in Concrete. Structural Engineer August Komendant, the Museum of Estonian Architecture (Kaisa Karvinen)
Book | Laura Iloniemi (ed.): The Identity of the Architect: Culture & Communication (Architectural Design) (Mika Savela)
Exhibition | Countryside, the Future, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (Tiffany Lambert)
Book | Zürichin kaupungin rakennusvalvontavirasto, Silvio Schmed, Arthur Rüegg (ed.): Pavillon Le Corbusier Zurich: The Restoration of an Architectural Jewel (Tarja Nurmi)