Helsinki-based AOR architects state that they aim to combine economic, social, aesthetic, and ecological demands in an impressive architecture compatible with the context. The firm is experienced in making additions to historical contexts and natural environments and has an expertise in design learning and application areas in line with the world-renowned Finnish national curriculum. Using the latest BIM programs while making its designs, the office also developed architectural visualization skills. The team, which attaches importance to the use of sustainability and natural materials in their designs, shares their knowledge and experience in their field with both students and other colleagues at the public conferences and university lectures at Aalto University.
Below is the list of 15 Projects by AOR Architects.
1. Extension to Tampere Art Museum
The extension project proposes a landmark for the existing museum. It makes the museum more visible from the main street. Its small footprint remains an ample green space to be used by the museum while connecting other community buildings. Openings to the city on the third and ground floor reinforce the museum’s ties with the city. Its connection with the existing museum via underground allows more flexible circulation spaces for exhibitions. Also, the red brick used in the facade is inspired by historical industrial buildings in Tampere and creates a contrast between the existing building that has been used as a former grain granary.
2. Jätkäsaari School
Today’s world requires that ability to critique media developed at young ages because the internet is full of fake news that spread faster than true ones. Thereby, AOR thinks that the traditional education system is insufficient to compensate for today’s problems and proposes a design that combines traditional methods with new learning and teaching methods that require updated learning spaces. The Jätkäsaari School was built around a courtyard and other educational functions directed towards the atrium. The courtyard has been designed as a place where all the school students can communicate with each other, and newcomers can gain a sense of belonging to the school. AOR created the rest of the educational spaces in the building by giving priority to interactivity.
3. Albert Museum
Albert Museum’s proposal is a competition project that aims for a design that connects two existing museums on the site. The proposal consists of two buildings, a one-story-high pavilion that connects the other two museums and open spaces, and a three-story-high exhibition tower becomes a landmark for the Ekenäs museum quarter. The building program contains exhibition spaces, service functions, and a shared lobby. It is also placed in a historical site; however, it blends in with the surroundings as a modern building since its facade materials are chosen conveniently.
4. Finnlog Hetena
The project is designed for Finnlog CLT in Tuusula, Finland. House’s L-shaped living area merges with an open garage and creates an atrium in the middle. The roof acts as a connector for the house together while creating a gap above the atrium. In the structural system, wooden columns, wooden truss systems for the roof, and loadbearing CLT wall components were used.
5. Mixed-use building in Kangasala
The project intends to benefit from the potential of urban context since it is a site that is located on the corner of Kangasala town square, along with community building and popular sport facility, and is accessible by public transportation. The building program proposes many different functions such as residential, commercial, and office spaces, and it aims to attract people so that it will be a landmark that has an impact on urban development. The bus stop next to the land makes the building easily accessible and contributes to the design concept.
6. Espoo Cultural Centre
Espoo Cultural Center expansion and a new theater building, a competition project, interpret the city of Tapiola garden’s values and propose a new intervention. Two amphitheaters positioned above the proposed theater building connect the different sides of the building, such as the football field and the theater, allowing the space to be used more effectively by the public. The theater’s fly tower creates a second attraction in the city, creating a counterpoint to the Tapiola Central Tower. This proposal is completed by collaborating with NRT Architects & Berry Creative.
Viewpoint is a platform designed by AOR to provide a better observation experience for wildlife on Regent’s Canal, and the London Wildlife Trust operates it. The pavilion aims to get people to the most central nature reserve and make them feel a part of the Regent Canal and the park’s wildlife. It also creates an attraction point while providing additional workshop space and learning facilities for the park. The inspiration for the pavilion comes from the rocky islets and islands of Scandinavia. For Finns, these islands are a place to relax the mind, and the Viewpoint follows this idea, claiming to be a getaway spot in the middle of the city. For the exterior of the pavilion, Corten steel was chosen, inspired by canal barges that change color as they are exposed to external elements. In the interior, wood was preferred to provide acoustic comfort and ergonomics to the sitting spaces, while animal printed concrete was preferred in the building’s foundation because it prevents slipping and offers aesthetic contribution.
8. Kankaanpää Town Square
The regeneration plan of Kankaanpää town square was designed in a workshop organized by the UusiKaupunki Collective. The project site was a town center of Kankaanpää, an underpopulated settlement in Western Finland, which hosted frequent markets and small-town life. Today, the city center turns into a parking lot most of the week; therefore, the square’s publicness is decreased, and pedestrian circulation is interrupted by vehicles. AOR aims to restore the town center to its old functions with a design proposal. The wooden canopy overlying the square creates a new landmark for Kankaanpää and provides a space for the local community to hold their events.
9. Wooden Pavilion in Lahti
The wooden pavilion is a project that was built in an old manor garden in Lahti Mukkula. The pavilion consists only of wooden sticks. The moving pattern created by the wooden pieces adds dynamism to the structure with light and shadow effects on the boards. The pavilion is made up of 8 pieces tied to each other with steel rods and to the ground with fixed steel support. Inside the pavilion, the wood material provides a different frame in each space according to diverse perspectives; hence, transparency and opacity vary according to where the user stands. The pavilion defines an entrance to the park for visitors and proposes a highly visual and entertaining experience for those who get its inside.
10. Myllykoski Church
The design was created for a competition to determine the new extension of the Myllykoski church. The competition is part of the urban transformation plan to revive the city center through minor interventions to the Myllykoski church. In his design, AOR proposes three connected masses that distort the massive scale of the church. Courtyards and squares in various sizes were created in the space between the church and the extension. The design that connects the public spaces with the old church also creates a spatial sequence with views opening in different directions.
11. Church in Ylivieska
Ylivieska’s churches have been landmarks seen from the Kalajoki river. The old church in Ylivieska was destroyed in 2016 due to arson. The proposed site for the new church is far from the river; hence, it causes the lake to lose its visual relationship, which has been going on for generations, with the river. Due to existing graves, construction cannot be done on the site of the old church building. Therefore, AOR proposes to construct a new church as a bridge over the river. Thus, the church may add a new layer to the river’s historical relationship with the church by connecting the river’s two banks and allowing pedestrian passage. AOR’s design proposal rises towards the old church and descends towards the opposite shore to mark the old church and highlight the new church’s entrance. While the lower part of the church consists of functions such as a meeting room, a multi-purpose hall, and a restaurant for the elderly, the parish hall is located in the upper part, where the view is prominent. The river view appears from behind the altar, creating a theatrical and romantic effect.
12. Kivelänranta Rowing Centre
The project proposes a concept design that creates new places for local ice swimming society and a rowing center. The site is located next to Viitaniemi beach in Jyväskylä. There are wooden storage areas for canoes and a sauna in the center of the proposed building design. The building is a symbol building for the canoeists, as it is located on the opposite coastline and does not damage the surrounding greenery. Also, the deck of the building functions as a polo pitch.
13. Tampere Music Academy
The new extension of Tampere Music Academy consists of public spaces convenient for performing and new spaces for dance and music schools. The main circulation road connects the lobby areas and foyers on different floors of the existing and new building; thus, these spaces can be used more flexibly for public events. The interior of the building is designed to adapt to the students’ artistic spirit.
The project proposes a growth of over 50 000 square meters for the Maria hospital in Central Helsinki. For the growth proposal, YIT, Keva, and AOR Architects were selected to operate this growth. When the project is completed, it is envisaged to be one of Europe’s most extensive healthcare facilities. The new campus is planned to renovate existing old buildings and construct new buildings to the south of the site in the initial phase. The central plaza, which will become a landmark for the hospital, will be surrounded by restaurants, cafes, event venues, offices, and shared working areas.
15. Hotel and Congress Center in Kuopio
The site is located at the connection point between the historical city center of Kuopio and Lake Kallavesi. The towers of the hotel resemble two sails, forming a landmark for the region. The building contains a multi-functional congress center, a large public space, and a commercial area at the street level. The towers of the building were used as a hotel. The building layout allows more rooms to see the lake view while minimizing the building’s shading effect at the street level. The congress center’s roof serves as a public space and overlooks the Kallavesi lake’s magnificent view.