We believe that the advancement of architecture is not a goal in itself but a way to improve people’s quality of life.”
– Alejandro Aravena, Curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition
Today, Europe’s challenge is less about building new cities than about transforming existing ones to create a more balanced and inclusive society. In this context, architecture must regain its capacity to shape not just the design of buildings, but also the design of social solutions. By combining these two capacities, architecture can help crystallize the principles of better housing”.
- Marco Steinberg, curator of the Finnish Pavilion –
The Finnish pavilion Alvar Aalto at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, will host the “From Border to Home” competition challenge, process, and outcomes.
By the end of 2015, Finland had experienced a ten-fold increase in asylum seekers, raising the question of how to house them, not just on day one, but in a way that places them on a path to integration. The Government created many more reception centers, but the need for more robust solutions was clear.
On October 19, 2015, as a reaction to the current situation, The Museum of Finnish Architecture launched an open international architectural competition, From Border to Home, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA. The goal of this competition was to seek broad solutions to the challenge of housing asylum-seekers. The particular focus was on the period they await a formal decision on their claim. The competition was run with an unusually fast schedule gaining wide visibility with 93 entries. On January 11, 2016 the competition jury with representatives from the Finnish Red Cross, Finnish Ministry of Interior, the Finnish Refugee Council, and the architectural profession awarded three winners and four honorable mentions. On February 3, 2016 the outcomes of the competition were presented to the Finnish Government.
The Finnish Pavilion will host the competition challenge, process, and outcomes as a platform to advance the housing conversation. The exhibition aims to challenge the view that the needs of asylum-seekers excessively burden existing communities. Perhaps this surge is simply accelerating our existing challenges of homelessness and social marginalization, and in addressing the needs of these new arrivals we can provide better solutions for everyone.
The pavilion will be supported by a series of events and the From Border to Home Blog. The Events program seeks to expand, enrich, and accelerate the discussion about asylum housing in Europe. The From Border to Home Blog ( invites architects, curators and the general audience to reflect, expand and socialize this dialogue.
The exhibition is curated by architect Marco Steinberg and commissioned by Juulia Kauste, director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The exhibition and associated program at the Finnish pavilion are realized by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Architecture Information Centre Finland, with support from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland.
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For further information and press images, please contact
Ilona Hildén, Communications
tel. +358 45 7731 0468
October 19, 2015– November 30, 2015
Architectural Competition
January 11, 2016
The Official Announcement of the results
February 3, 2016
Presentation of the resulting ideas to the Finnish Ministry of the Interior
The three winners of the competition
a team (Germany)
Lukas Beer, Otto Beer, Duy Tran, Ksenija Zdesar
Lindberg & Erdman (Finland)
Milja Lindberg assisted by Christopher Erdman, A-Konsultit Architects
Society Lab (Italy)
Cecilia Danieli, Omri Revesz, Mariana Riobom
Honourable Mentions
alt Architects (Finland)
Ville-Pekka Ikola, Antti Karsikas, Tuomas Niemelä, Kalle Vahtera, alt Architects
Assisted by TEHAS ry
D.A.T. PANGEA + QUATORZE (Spain, France)
D.A.T. PANGEA: Ricardo Mayor Luque, Hani Jaber Ávila, Héctor Muñoz Mendoza, Ignacio Taus Jiménez
QUATORZE: Romain Minod, Ruben Salvador Torres, Daniel Millor Vela
Helsinki Kasbah Combine (Finland)
Harri Ahokas, Tomi Laine, Akseli Leinonen, Nikolai Rautio, Matias Saresvuo.
Assisted by Pekka Huima. Consultation: Pia Rautiainen
Satoshi OHTAKI (Finland)
Satoshi Ohtaki
The jury of the From Border to Home competition comprised the following members:
Marco Steinberg, architect, chair of the jury
Kadar Gelle, project leader, Finnish Refugee Council
Mikko Heikkinen, architect, SAFA
Petri Kaukiainen, executive director for Helsinki, Finnish Red Cross
Jenni Lautso, architect SAFA
Samuli Miettinen, architect SAFA
Sirkku Päivärinne, director of immigration, Finnish Ministry of the Interior
Architect BA, Yasser Almaamoun, served as an external expert consultant to the jury.