Museum of Finnish Architecture exhibition investigates different perspectives of wooden construction

Wooden schools, architectural competition winners in wood, and downtown Helsinki’s impressive buildings with wooden facades are merely a few examples from the Toivoa puusta (Hope from Wood) exhibition at Helsinki’s Museum of Finnish Architecture. Together they highlight the relationship between wood and a sense of hope.

While wood’s popularity in school construction comes from the hope of solving indoor air problems, the awards convey people’s hopes for future construction. The capital’s wooden buildings in turn convey the importance of wood is in this country covered by forests.

– In an era of climate crisis, much is expected from wood as a renewable material. One building material can hardly solve all the challenges however. Rather, it is only one of many solutions, says the exhibition curator, cultural journalist Minna Joenniemi.

Photo: Anni Koponen

– The exhibition does not offer readymade answers. Instead, it stimulates discussions about topics such as what the quality of construction or the lifecycle of buildings should be.

The multi-voiced and multi-faceted exhibition explores the past, present, and future of architecture and construction. There are thousands of skilfully built houses made from good wood in Finland, and they have been maintained by popular demand and common know-how. Featured in the exhibition, the love letters to Finland’s wooden building heritage from across the country provide a concrete example of how people and communities nurture their historical building stock.

The exhibition explores the future through a variety of arts. Examples include pondering what a song about the future of architecture would be like and what kind of wood construction architecture students might want to build in future.

The exhibition has been put together with support from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment’s wood construction program. You can visit the exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture from September 10, 2021 to April 10, 2022.

Read the article in Finnish: Arkkitehtuurimuseon näyttely tarkastelee puurakentamista useista näkökulmista