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Organized By

Archinfo, Ministry of education and culture, Ministry of environment, Embassy of Finland in Rome, Open House Worldwide

VB21 The Pavilion of Finland will be opened remotely with an online event open to all

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The inauguration of Finland’s exhibition ‘New Standards’ at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will be held remotely in an online event 20th May at 16:30 CET, which enables the participation of all interested from around the world.

The Pavilion of Finland’s exhibition New Standards will be officially opened by Finland’s Minister of Culture and Science Annika Saarikko. After the opening speeches, we will hear an engaging discussion, for which we have invited the United States Pavilion and the Nordic Pavilion to join us in an exploration of the different conditions of standardisation and customisation that arise through the use of timber as a structural material. The discussion will be led by curators and exhibitors from the three pavilions and chaired by the Director of Open House worldwide, Phineas Harper.

Curated by Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa, New Standards tells the story of the industrial enterprise Puutalo Oy [Timber Houses Ltd.], which was established in 1940 as part of the national response to a refugee crisis brought about by war. In less than a decade, the company became one of the largest manufacturers of prefabricated wooden buildings in the world. These structures used a limited range of standard components to achieve thousands of variations, suited to different functional, climatic and cultural conditions.

The historical story is complimented by contemporary images by acclaimed photographer Juuso Westerlund, which capture views of life in neighborhoods from Helsinki (Finland), Aarhus (Denmark) and Barranquilla (Colombia).

Starting from May 20th, the exhibition can be visited in Giardini, Venice and virtually at Already now you can explore the themes of the exhibition on the dedicated site and contribute to the Puutalo story.

More information on Finland’s participation at the Biennale Architettura 2021 may be found on Archinfo Finland’s site through this link.



  • Annika Saarikko, Minister of Culture and Science, Finland
  • Pia Rantala-Engberg, Ambassador of Finland in Rome
  • Petri Heino, Programme Director, Wood Building Programme, Ministry of the Environment
  • Katarina Siltavuori, Commissioner, Archinfo Finland
  • Laura Berger and Kristo Vesikansa, Curators, Pavilion of Finland

17:45 DISCUSSION: Living together through standardisation and individuality in timber houses

  • Philip Tidwell, Curator, Pavilion of Finland
  • Paul Andersen, Curator, United States Pavilion
  • Siv Helene Stangeland / Helen & Hard Architects, Exhibitor, Nordic Pavilion
  • Phineas Harper, Open House Worldwide and Open City (chair)