Spotlight Award and Lecture
Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH)
OOPEAA - Office for Peripheral Architecture - is based in Helsinki, Finland and led by principal Anssi Lassila. The small office of just fifteen has gained recognition for developing innovative techniques working with traditional buildings materials. They have earned several significant awards and won competitions both in Finland and abroad.
OOPEAA’s work spans a broad programmatic range including churches, office buildings, schools, housing, saunas, and installations. Each project gracefully and deliberately addresses context - both physical and historical - across the varying functions and scales. Larger scale housing blocks respond to concerns of density and permeability in an urban setting, while small saunas in more remote settings reference historical vernacular typologies and traditional building methods.
The masterful control and understanding of wood as a building material is key in the office’s design process. OOPEAA’s projects often dialogue with both the form
and methods of Scandinavian vernacular architecture, utilizing familiar building profiles for symbolic value or experimenting with ancient building techniques to modify and improve them with modern technology.
Collaboration with skillful structural engineers and commitment to the quality of craft result in a body of work that is not only aesthetically clean, but sustainable as well. Several of OOPEAA’s projects utilize CLT (cross laminated timber), a relatively new building material in architecture. Lassila’s extensive experience in working with wood and passion for developing new building strategies are pushing the possibilities of CLT and wood construction forward, broadening green building strategies for architecture as a whole.