Aalto2, Alvar Aalto Foundation, Archinfo
New Standards: Puutalo Oy 1940–1955 in Jyväskylä
The exhibition telling the story of Puutalo Oy (Timber House Ltd) will next be on show in Aalto2 Museum Centre in Jyväskylä, central Finland.
First featured in the Pavilion of Finland at the 2021 Biennale Architettura in Venice, New Standards presents the history and legacy of Puutalo Oy (Timber Houses Ltd.), a Finnish industrial enterprise that was established in 1940 to house war refugees and expanded quickly into a worldwide exporter of prefabricated wooden houses.
During the second world war, Finland faced a daunting refugee crisis when more than 11% of its citizens were forced to flee their homes along the eastern border. In 1940, the urgent need to resettle 420,000 people brought architects and industrialists together to form the pioneering industrial partnership.
The Puutalo consortium was established by 21 Finnish timber companies in order to coordinate the design and production of wooden houses, but it also created a model of manufacturing and construction that helped to modernise Finland’s building industry.
From 1940 to 1955, Puutalo shipped buildings to more than 30 countries around the world, quickly becoming one of Finland’s most widespread architectural exports. The flexibility of the building systems used by the company allowed for significant variations in design, and different models were tailored to a wide range of climates, functions and cultural conditions.
The drawings, photographs and brochures compiled from archival sources reflect the thinking and goals of the era, and new photography by Juuso Westerlund reveal how the houses are lived in today.
The exhibition was curated by Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa and produced by Archinfo together with Aalto2 Museum Centre and the Alvar Aalto Foundation.
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