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Collage: November

Collage is a monthly snapshot of what’s happening at Olla. In November, the spotlight was on circular economy, working environments, and the possibilities of virtual reality. The literal highlight of the winter month was the landmark column Viäntö and the new Varisto electrical substation.

Forssa Multipurpose Centre Akvarelli wins gold at the London Design Awards

The London Design Awards is an international design competition that annually honors innovative and impactful design projects from around the world. Akvarelli received gold in the Architecture Design Institutional category. The multipurpose centre, designed to resemble a village community, has also previously gained international acclaim and was a nominee for the best school building at this year’s World Design Architecture Festival.

Read more about the London Design Awards and Akvarelli’s success here.

Photo: Martin Sommerschield

Making the work environment a success factor – Virve Penttilä shares insights with real estate professionals

Service designer and workplace development expert Virve Penttilä was a guest speaker at the real estate and workplace management seminar organized by the real estate training centre Kiinko in Helsinki. Virve’s presentation, “Work Environments as Part of Employee Experience,” addressed the targeted development of two key factors – the work environment and employee experience – from the perspective of a company’s business goals.

The work environment serves as both a strategic management tool and the home of a workplace community. Understanding the importance of the work environment helps improve key business factors, such as the work flow, the attractiveness of the company, and the well-being of employees.

Photo: Jenni Wiiala

Olla as a guest expert in Helsinki’s circular economy cluster

In the November morning coffee event hosted by Helsinki’s circular economy cluster, discussions revolved around the possibilities of reusing window glass. Olla’s architect Laura Vara and interior architect Tea Ellala, along with Katri Eerola from Noste.io, presented the renovation project of Kaikukatu 3, where 600 windows reaching the end of their lifespan are transformed into glass walls.

Read more about Kaikukatu 3 and the transformation of the windows here.

Olla’s 3D graphical artist Jyri Jernström: a VR model tells more than a thousand images

Visualizations are an essential part of architectural communication. A VR model is free from the constraints of traditional photography and allows for the examination of even the most complex spatial sequences.

Read here the thoughts of Olla’s 3D graphical artist Jyri Jernström on how virtual reality not only changes the way we present designs but also the design process itself.

“Let’s break down thought models, not buildings” – Bratislav Toskovic as a guest speaker at SHARE Serbia

SHARE Serbia is an international architecture and technology forum that brings together industry leaders, influencers, and visionaries. The conference, held in Belgrade in mid-November, featured thought-provoking discussions, expert-led workshops, and valuable networking opportunities.

Olla’s partner and leading architect, Bratislav Toskovic, delivered a presentation at the event titled “From a Bystander to a Trendsetter.” Bratislav, originally from Serbia, discussed the transformation of Kaikukatu 3. The renovation projects has gained significant attention also in Helsinki, transforming from a forgotten office building into an attractive centerpiece.

Photo: SHARE Serbia

The shining landmark of Savilahti – Viäntö landscape column with special lighting completed

The landscape column Viäntö is enhanced with dynamic special lighting. The lightning solutions, crafted by Ramboll’s lighting studio, highlight the pillar’s shapes. In the evenings, the pillar is lit with a warm glow. At midnight, the light shifts to a cool tone until it dims with the rising sun. The illuminated Viäntö is part of Savilahti’s program for lighting, culture, design, and art called “Valon kaava” (the Plan of Light).

Learn more about Viäntö and other impactful locations in the lighting program here (in Finnish).

Photo: Simo Suomalainen

New substation launched in Vantaa

Olla is inspired by the opportunity to make socially significant functions like power generation visible through architecture. The Varisto substation, operated by Vantaa Energy, was designed to also serve as an eye-catching new landmark along the Kehä 3 highway.

Olla has a history with designing captivating power stations in Vantaa. Get to know the internationally acclaimed Länsisalmi substation here.

A night of discussions and films about architecture

Olla had the privilege to host an evening event organized by HESA-SAFA (Helsinki section of the Finnish Association of Architects), where industry professionals had the opportunity to meet the creators of the Ark Rex architecture film festival, connect with colleagues, and draw inspiration from the festival’s themes.

This year’s festival theme revolved around utopias, dreams, and future challenges. The organizers of Ark Rex, Tarja Nurmi and Jonni Roos, provided insights into the festival’s story and goals. Following that, film director Nico Weber presented her documentary “Inside Prora”, which tells the unique story of a kilometers-long building complex intended as a holiday paradise for the German Nazi Party in the 1930s.

How do ideals and dreams impact our thinking, environment, and architecture? Explore Ark Rex here.

“Can we have a sleepover?” – joy and good questions on Children’s Day at Work

Olla welcomed around twenty visitors of various ages to the office on Children’s Day at Work on November 23rd. During their ‘workday,’ the kids got to try out VR goggles, build with legos, hunt for treasures, and spot office-related situations and items in a game of bingo. The entire office was enlivened by the day, leaving many delightful memories – and a few balloons still floating in the meeting rooms.

The event, held on International Children’s Rights Day, aims to promote child- and family-friendly practices in the workplace.

There is no Olla without Olli – office celebrates founder’s 90th birthday

Olla, originally known as Arkkitehtuuritoimisto Olli Parviainen Ky, celebrated the 90th birthday of its founder, Olli Parviainen. The office, established by Olli in 1962, has employed over 300 professionals over the decades. Fifty current employees had the pleasure of raising a toast in honor of the impressive milestone.

In addition to birthday cake, there were dedications available in the book “Olli Parviainen – Nine Decades of an Architect“. The book, compiled by Paula Parviainen, highlights the esteemed architect’s career and life.

Thank you and congratulations, Olli!
Read about the story of the office and its founder here.