Last week, Prof. Aino Niskanen from Aalto University presented an overview of Finnish architecture titled “On the Vernacular Roots of Finnish Modernism.” The event was hosted by the Department of Architecture, with many students in attendance.
In her lecture, Prof. Niskanen emphasized the importance of Finland’s northern climate and large forests in shaping the Nordic country’s architectural traditions. She noted that vernacular architecture in wood was important for Finnish modernism, with renowned architect Alvar Aalto starting to refer to it in his work during the 1930s. Many other Finnish architects followed his lead in subsequent years. Today, wooden architecture, implemented by both old and modern technology, retains its favored place.
The lecture helped students appreciate not only the legacy of Finnish building culture but also the role of nature and tradition as important inspirations for architectural design. At the conclusion of her remarks, Prof. Niskanen encouraged students to study and learn from Turkish vernacular buildings to create their own “culture” of Turkish architecture.