PROJECT TEAM LED BY TEEMU KURKELA
JKMM Architects was established in 1998 by partners Asmo Jaaksi, Teemu Kurkela, Samuli Miettinen and Juha Mäki-Jyllilä. JKMM Architects specializes in building design, interior design, urban planning, as well as renovation and restoration, and can provide all architectural design work from design to construction documents and supervision of construction itself. Over the past years, they have designed many important public buildings including Turku City Library and the Verkatehdas Factory Cultural Center in Hämeenlinna, and received over 56 prizes (including 20 first prizes) in architectural competitions in Finland. JKMM has received several awards for their work, including the Finnish State Award for Architecture 2007, Finnish Steel Structure Award 2007, Finnish Glass Structure Award 2007, Finnish Concrete Structure Award 2007, Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award 2006 and Pietilä Award 2006. The CEO of the Helsinki-based JKMM Architects is Teemu Kurkela. He studied architecture at Columbia University, New York and at Helsinki University of Technology. In August, Kurkela will begin work as Professor of Architecture at School of Architecture, Helsinki University of Technology (now part of Aalto University). He tells about what makes the company’s approach unique: “We bring innovation and technical excellence together. In other words, we use both sides of the brain to create a balanced whole. We aim to create tailor-made solutions for each project. We use no standard methods, but create new processes. Our goal is to bring together innovation, intelligence and common sense. Our buildings share a human touch. We have sensitivity towards materials. Central elements of our thinking are respect for the ‘small person’, clarity of thinking, innovative design and technological excellence. The end result, exceptional quality of the finished building, is what counts the most. We aim at making concepts and buildings that get better over the years. Sustainable development is our key responsibility.”
The Finnish pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 is called Kirnu (Giant’s Kettle). Designed by JKMM Architects, it won first prize in the competition held in 2008. The pavilion portrays Finland in microcosm, presenting Finnish society to the world. It can be seen as a miniature city. Like Finnish society in general, the pavilion combines creativity, high technology, and culture – a unity that makes for good human life. At its heart lies the miniature city’s center and forum for events, the “Giant’s Kettle,” where ideas can meet and mix. The sculptural architecture of the pavilion is aimed at creating visions of such themes as freedom, creativity, and innovation. The pavilion functions as a laboratory for sustainable building, presenting Finnish solutions for future urban construction and keeping to the principles of sustainable development. After the expo, the pavilion will be sold, dismantled, then reassembled in a new location, and put to new use. All the steel elements in the basic structure are joined by bolts to make the task easier. It will also be possible to add new stories to the building if needed. The façade of Kirnu is clad with small shingles made of UPM ProFi, an environmentally friendly innovative paper plastic composite.