Tradition from cross-cultural collaboration?

The ‘Y Pavilion’ in Finland reveals new possibilities of wood in modern construction

A few km from Finland’s capital, Helsinki, lies the open-air museum of Seurasaari, displaying the traditional Finnish way of life. It features cottages, farmsteads and manors of the past four centuries that have been relocated from all around the country.


Last year, the museum welcomed ‘Y’, a wooden installation created by an international team of architects and fine carpenters. It measures almost 11 metres in length, and the funnel-shaped pavilion raises questions on time, knowledge and skills.

Among others, the team aims to reveal the possibilities of wood in modern construction with the pavilion. It encourages cross-border collaboration between architects and carpenters with digital design and production.

The temporary piece on the island property forms a new social courtyard, luring visitors to stay longer in the tenant farm by altering the familiar and permanent museum environment. Once inside, visitors can play around it, adopting different positions, thanks to its modular construction.

The ‘Y Pavilion’ also aims to provide a hypnotic meditation spot from where to reflect on the changing state of time. As the architects state, “Tradition is born out of the continuous sharing of knowledge and skills – the conjunction of the new and the old.”

The project is supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre of Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Asko Foundation, Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation and the Norwegian foreign ministry.



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