Article Collection

Archives: Raili Pietilä

Raili Pietilä and her spouse Reima Pietilä designed several of the most original buildings in Finnish modern architecture.

The recently deceased architect Raili Pietilä (1926­–2021) had a meritorious career as a partner of her spouse Reima Pietilä (1923–1993). Many of the buildings designed by the couple, from the Dipoli student centre to the Presidents´ official residence in Mäntyniemi, are among the most original works of Finnish modern architecture and aroused a great deal of international admiration. Of these many masterpieces, Raili Pietilä mentioned the Lieksa Church, completed in 1982, as her personal favourite. Although the couple emphasised that they were equal as designers, Raili Pietilä did not always receive the recognition she deserved for joint projects. As with many architect couples, the division of labour between them is often difficult – and perhaps unnecessary – to assess afterwards.

Pietiläs´ work has been covered in the Finnish Architectural Review since the 1960s in dozens of project, book and exhibition reviews as well as research articles. In recent years, it has become topical again through the restorations of their buildings. Raili Pietilä´s own ideas are most evident in interviews conducted in the early 2000s, two examples of which can be read here. The third article presents the Pietiläs´ summer retreat, where the couple designed separate saunas based on their personal preferences.

→ “Pietiläs’ Other Half” (ARK 6/2004)

Aino Niskanen interviewed Raili Pietilä in autumn 2002 on her career, the habits of working together with her husband Reima, and everyday life.

→ “Life in Badger Hill” (ARK 3/2003)

In the 1980s Raili and Reima Pietilä found an old yard milieu where to spend their free time. The Pietiläs both designed their own saunas on the property.

→ “A Cabin in the Archipelago” (ARK 3/2005)

Raili Pietilä designed a summer cabin for Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietilä on Klovharu island. Jonas Malmberg interviewed Raili Pietilä in April 2005 on the design process.