Finnish Architecture: A Viewpoint to Wildlife


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Many people have stepped on it, used it as a stepping stone to view the Regent’s Canal at Camley Street Natural Park. The park hosts 30,000 visitors annually, and perhaps only a handful have realised that the architecturally innovative viewpoint was created by a Finnish architect. In 2013, the Finnish Institute in London and the Architecture Foundation appointed a Finnish architect to design the permanent viewpoint structure. The idea behind the structure was to introduce Londoners to a co-existence between natural wildlife and the city.

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It was AOR architects Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola who designed and built the structure in 2014. The Viewpoint pavilion received widely positive reviews internationally, and if the press is to be believed, it is only a testament of the architectural talent that is being born in Finland. Through the ongoing work of the Finnish Institute in London, longterm collaborations between Finnish and British design professionals are being solidified. The institute is challenging the way design and architecture are perceived and it explores public spaces in changing urban environments.

Finland has an emerging generation of designers and architects who are starting to become more and more recognised worldwide. For a while, Finland suffered a creative blockage architectural-wise. However, 40 years after the passing of Alvar Aalto, one of the pioneers in Finnish design, architectural geniuses are starting to gather an impressive portfolio worldwide.