Olla » News » The landscape column Viäntö: a fusion of art and power transmission

The landscape column Viäntö: a fusion of art and power transmission

A functional society relies on electricity. Olla is inspired by opportunities to provide the essential functions of our well-being with the architectural attention they deserve.

“Viäntö” is a landscape column intertwining architecture, art, and technology in Savilahti, Kuopio. The task was to design a structurally logical and architecturally striking piece that helps establish a clear identity for the Savilahti area. The goal for the column, which combines three different electricity transmission routes, was to create a recognizable landmark that allows for various interpretations. Olla has experience in electricity-related design projects that have garnered international attention: The Länsisalmi power station in Vantaa was awarded the best in its category at the 2018 World Architecture Festival.

Olla’s custom-made visualization tool: a pillar of support in design

“Viäntö” represents a creative reinterpretation of the traditional lattice tower. The basic idea originated from the freeform sketches of the project’s lead designer, Bratislav Toskovic, which were developed using Olla’s 3D graphics designer Jyri Jernström’s parametric modeling tool. With the tool, it was agilely possible to experiment with how changes in various parameters, such as the angle of rotation or the number of support structures, would affect the overall structure without the need for separate modeling of alternatives.

“Using the tool was like preemptively answering the question, ‘this looks good, but what if this and that were different?'” describes Jernström.

The viability and range of possibilities of the freeform sketches were tested using the parametric modeling tool.

The name “Viäntö” reflects the twisting, DNA-like shape of the landscape column. The structure, resembling a DNA twist, is also a reference to the hospital and science park located in Savilahti. The name of the landscape column evolved to be suitable for the local tongue from the English working name “twist”—perhaps also reflecting a bit of the Savonian mindset.

The column’s twisting form is further highlighted by the dynamic lighting designed by Ramboll, which also includes lighting options for special occasions and holidays. “Viäntö” is part of “Valon kaava” (the Plan of Light), a design program aimed at developing Savilahti and based on the utilization of light.

Photos: Mikko Pekonen
Bratislav Toskovic, the lead designer of Viäntö, discusses the design of the landscape column.

Cover photo: Simo Suomalainen