Infrastructure for Happiness

JKMM’s architecture and design has social responsibility at its core. We design buildings and spaces, which can help to increase happiness in society. 

Finland is the world’s happiest country, but what is the basis for this phenomenon? 

As we see it, a well-functioning society relies on advanced technology, a sound economy, and fairness amongst its people. The members of such a society thrive if they can also enjoy culture, knowledge, and a sense of wellbeing. The most noble model for a sustainable society is a happy one. This can only be achieved if all the afore-mentioned factors are in place. 

Architects have had a critical role to play in shaping a well-functioning society in Finland. JKMM Architects has been creating the infrastructure for happiness as embodied in the next generation of Finnish design nearly 25 years.

*According to UN and WEF

Happiness >
Culture +
Knowledge +
Wellbeing

Brief History

Since 1998, the studio’s numerous architecture competition wins have led JKMM to become an internationally recognised and one of the leading practices in Finland. Today the studio employs nearly 100 designers with shared values and mission to make for a better world one building at a time.

Integrated Design Process

We want to bring stakeholders, our end-users and our clients as well as town and city planners, local authorities and investors all together to work towards a shared vision. 

What matters for us is the quality of the end result, when the visitor walks in. We are passionate about details and in everything ranging from acoustics to building technology to landscape design. 

For us, the quality stems from a holistic design approach that unites architecture, interior architecture, urban design, furniture design, graphic design and art. 

Architecture

We design buildings that enhance a sense of solidarity within an open city; buildings that focus on the essentials and that resolve complex challenges with cleverly conceived simple solutions. We respect craftsmanship, detailing and expertise in working with materials. In our architecture, empathy goes hand in hand with the care we take in the management of the building process and the quality of the built work. 

Interior Arcitecture

From the very beginning, we have designed interior design concepts and spaces as an extension of the architecture. JKMM Interiors, our interior architects have a special role to play in realising our holistic design ethos. We are experienced in designing interiors for many different sectors, ranging from cultural, civic and hybrid spaces to interiors for educational and office environments, which we also design as independent interior projects. All of our works are completed to a high standard that is user-friendly. We favour timeless solutions reflecting a profound appreciation of design. 

Urban Design

Our projects often begin through masterplanning exercises or feasibility studies. We are well-versed in understanding planning policy and architectural history. We enjoy introducing new interventions into the existing building fabric in a way that is inspiring and sensitive. We like to be innovative and to promote wellbeing and are interested in how sustainable urban living can be promoted by responding to different communities’ needs. 

Furniture Design

In our work we respect the internationally renowned tradition of Finnish furniture making. The seamless collaboration between our architects and interior designers makes it possible to introduce beautifully integrated fitted furniture proposals that, above all else, lead to a sense of cohesive and coherent spaces. 

Graphic Design

Graphic design supports architecture and subtly aids orientation. Our designers’ innovative approach strengthens the identity of our spaces and improves wayfinding. We also collaborate with gifted graphic designers; and just now you are reading our very own font: JKMM Grotesk. 

Art

We are proud that in our buildings it is difficult to know where the architecture ends and the interior design, or art, begins. Works of art can be independent and bold or an integral part of the overall spatial experience: the façade; the ceiling; the acoustic design; the lighting. We coordinate and curate artworks so that they are at one with our architecture. 

Our Design Principles

Inspired by Nature 

We are surrounded by nature. In Helsinki, our capital, you can find archipelagoes and forests just 15 minutes from the city center. The shapes and innovations of mother nature inspire us in our design work.

Human Touch 

Architecture should always respect the “small person” as coined by Alvar Aalto. Human experience is the driving principle of all our work. Empathy is needed to develop new solutions and it helps to solve the key challenges of our society.

Simple but Intelligent 

We have learnt to recognise the strongest of our ideas because they are the simplest ones. Simplicity is achieved through a deep understanding of a problem and an intelligent approach in resolving it.

Less Talk 

The world is divided into two groups: talkers and doers. We believe in the latter. The built work is what counts the most. This is why we are focused on mastering the construction process, understanding materials, details and craftsmanship.

Tailor Made 

Our design approach is creative and flexible, just like jazz music. ”Improvise” is our middle name. We don’t use standard methods and styles. This is why all of our projects are unique.

Hidden Essential 

Design is not about surfaces, but it reveals the inherent idea behind the project. The architect’s job is to define and discover the essential. We have created hundreds of new design concepts so we know what it takes.

Total Design

We see architecture as a holistic environment that can be experienced at all scales ranging from the intimate to the immersive. This is why we welcome projects that allow us to combine the talents of our architects and interior designers.

Awards

From the beginning, architectural innovation has been the driving force behind our work. Innovation is best tested in architectural competitions. The office has won prizes in over 100 architectural competitions, including over 50 First Prizes. Currently, JKMM has won the most architectural competitions in Finland.

Our works have been presented in various exhibitions including: Venice Biennale; GA International; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Finnish Architecture.

Prizes

2022

Lillehammer Art Museum Design Competition, Norway, 1. Prize

Vaasan Museonranta invited architectural competition, Vaasa, Honorary Mention for ‘Lyhde’

Pasila Central Tower Area Competition, Helsinki, 1. Prize

2021

Myyr York Urban Blocks, Vantaa, 1. Prize

Design University Shanghai Competition, China, Top 3 Finalist

International Competition for Shenzhen Antuo Hill Museums, Shenzhen China, Top 3 Finalist 

New Terrace House Block in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, Honorary Mention

Guoshen National Museum International Competition, Shenzhen China, Top 3 Finalist 

Ignite Turku Idea Competition, Turku, shared 1. Prize

Suvilahti Event Hub, Helsinki, Honorary Mention

Pori School Campus, Pori, 1. Prize

2020

East Helsinki Urban Centre, Helsinki, Purchase

Kontula Shopping Centre , Helsinki, Honorary Mention

New Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 3. Prize

New Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Honorary Mention

2019

New National, National Museum of Finland, 1. Prize

Haapaniemenkatu 4 hybrid building, Helsinki, 2. Prize

Sepänkatu 1 Hybrid Block, 1. Prize

Projekt Albert, Tammisaari new art museum, Tammisaari, 1. Prize

Tapiola Culture Centre, Espoo, 2. Prize

2018                    

Finnish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, 1. Prize

2017                  

Haakoninlahti Residential Block, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2017, Harald Herlin Learning Centre / NRT Architects in partnership with JKMM Interiors

Postipuisto Residential Block, 1. Prize

2016                 

Sipoonlahti School, Sipoo, Honorary Mention

2015

Think Corner, The University of Helsinki, 1. Prize

The Rigenerale Corviale, Rome, 3.Prize

2014

Tammela Football Stadium, Tampere, 1. Prize

Pohjola Old Headquarters, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Housing for Piippuranta, Jyväskylä, Honorary Mention

2013

Museum of Street Art in St Petersburg, 1. Prize

Mattilanniemi University Campus, Jyväskylä, 1. Prize

2012

Munkkiniemen puistotie 25, Helsinki, Honorary Mention

Zero-energy house, Hyvinkää housing fair, Hyvinkää, Honorary Mention

2011

OP Bank Headquarters, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Quarter 2018 in Töölönlahti, Helsinki, 2. Prize

City hybrid block, Lappeenranta, 1. Prize

Posco Pavilion, South Korea, 1. Prize

Äijälänranta highrise buildings, Jyväskylä, 1. Prize

2010

New Synergy Building for the Finnish Environment Institute in Viikki, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Kalasatama Day Care Center and School, Helsinki, 1. Prize

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, Poland, Honorary Mention

Paul Stradins Hospital, Riga, Latvia, 1. Prize

Concept competition for long time homelessness, Helsinki, 1. Prize

2009

Koli National Park tourist and Information Center, Lieksa, 1. Prize

Kivääritehdas office district, Jyväskylä, 1. Prize

Porvoo City hall, Porvoo, 1.Prize

Tuira Housing – building for assisted living, Oulu, Honorary Mention

2008

Seinäjoki City Library, Seinäjoki, 1. Prize

Toukoranta Housing, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Puolarmaari Hospital, Espoo, Honorary Mention

Saariselkä Tourist Centre, Inari, Lapland, 1. Prize

Suurpelto Children`s House, Espoo, Honorary Mention

Shanghai Expo 2010 Finnish Pavilion, 1. Prize

Shanghai Expo 2010 Finnish pavilion, 3. Prize

Espoo centre and city hall, Espoo, Honorary Mention

2007

Laivaranta, Harbour pavilion, Hämeenlinna, 1. Prize

Saunalahti Children’s House, Espoo, 1. Prize

AS DnB Nord bank office building, Riga, Latvia, 3. Prize

Lindholm Triangle, apartment building, Espoo, Honorary Mention

Saunalahti School, Espoo, Design purchased by the client

Tikkurila Church, Vantaa, 3. Prize

2006

Spikeri, historical warehouse site, Riga, Latvia, Internat. Workshop, 3. Prize

Paul Stradins University Hospital, Riga, Latvia, Intern. Workshop, 1. Prize

Turku Castle Estate, harbour area, Turku, Honorary Mention

Skolas 17, apartment building, Riga, Latvia, 1 .Prize

Skarnu 11, apartment building, Riga, Latvia, 3. Prize

Art Center Arco, Madrid, Spain, Honorary Mention

2005

Kristiansand Konserthus, Kristiansand, Norway, Design purchased by the client

Chapel in Simonkenttä, Helsinki, Honorary Mention

2004

Terraced house in Viikki, ATT, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Vantaa Cultural Center, Vantaa, 1. Prize

Cultural Center in Hämeenlinna Verkatehdas Factory, 1. Prize

2003

Myllypuro Urban Center, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Funeral chapel at Helsinki Parish church area, 3. Prize

2002

Sampo Upper Secondary School, Tampere, Honorary Mention

Lohja Library, Helsinki, 2. Prize

ARMI Center, Helsinki, 1. Prize

2001

Meri-Matti School and Day Care Center, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Kerava Library, Design purchased by the client

2000

Viikki Center including church, service center and apartments for elderly people, Helsinki, 1. Prize

Day Care Center, Myllypuro, 1. Prize

Joensuu University Extension, Joensuu, 1. Prize

Oulu University Department of Architecture, Honorary Mention

1999

Kierikki Stone Age Center, Yli-Ii, Design purchased by the client

Aurinkolahti School, Helsinki, Design purchased by the client

Österbotten University, Vaasa, Honorary Mention

1998

Turku Central Library, Turku, 1. Prize

Hirssaari Master Plan, Kotka, Design purchased by the client

All prizes

Selected Awards

WAF Awards 2022, Completed buildings – Culture category, Finalist, Dance House Helsinki

INSIDE Awards 2022, Interiors – Education category, Finalist, University of the Arts Helsinki

European Healthcare Design Awards 2022, Healthcare Design (Over 25,000 sqm) winner, Hospital Nova

BIE Awards Expo 2020 Dubai, Silver Medal in Architecture & Landscape s/xs, Finland Pavilion

The Concrete Structure of the Year 2021, the Academy of Fine Arts of the Uniarts Helsinki

The Lighting Project of 2021, the Illuminating Engineering Society of Finland, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

The Lion of Finland 2021, Knight First Class, Founder and Creative Partner Teemu Kurkela

WAF Awards 2021, Completed buildings: Civic & Community Category Winner, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

2021 Finlandia Prize for Architecture Winner, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

Mies van der Rohe Award 2022 nominees, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri, K-Kampus and Akola Manor

Frame Awards 2021, Cultural Space of the Year nominee, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

The International Architecture Award 2021, Amos Rex

WAF Awards 2021, Completed buildings: Civic & Community, Shortlisted, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

WAF Awards 2021, Completed buildings: Health, Shortlisted, Hospital Nova

2021 Interior Design Competition IIDA, The Best, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

AIT-Award 2020 | Best in Interior and Architecture, 1st Prize Public/Culture category, Amos Rex

Concrete Structure of 2020, Honorary Mention, Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2020 nominee, Kalasatama Campus & K-Kampus

2020 Interior Design Competition IIDA, Best of Competition, Amos Rex

Frame Award 2019, Amos Rex in Learning Space of the Year category

Interior Architect of the Year, Finnish Designer Award ’19, the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo, Paula Salonen

Interior Design’s Best of Year 2019 Award, Honoree, Amos Rex

New into Old Awards 2019, The Architectural Review, Shortlist, Amos Rex

Dezeen Awards 2019, Cultural building, Longlisted, Amos Rex

WAF Awards 2019, Completed buildings – Culture, Shortlisted, Amos Rex

Mies van der Rohe Award 2019 nominees: Amos Rex; Think Corner; Paul Stradins University Hospital

Concrete Structure of 2018, Amos Rex

Rose for Building 2018, Amos Rex

RIL Award 2018, Amos Rex

European Copper in Architecture Awards 18, Commended project, Lahti Travel Centre

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2018 -nominee, Think Corner and Amos Rex

Rose for Building 2017 nominee, Bysa & Sandis Ltds.

Mies van der Rohe Award 2017 nominee, OP Bank Headquarter

Hurraa! 2016 Award, The New Harald Herlin Learning Centre

Finnish Glass Structure Award 2016, OP Bank Headquarters

Rose for Building 2015, OP Bank Headquarters

Steel Structure 2015, OP Bank Headquarters

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015 nominee, OP Bank Headquarters

Tekla Global BIM Awards –award 2014, Total Bim -category, OP Bank Headquarters

Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2014 -nominee, Seinäjoki Library

Interior Architect of the Year, Finnish Designer Award ’13, the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo, Päivi Meuronen

Finnish State Award of Design 2013, Päivi Meuronen and Aimo Katajamäki

Mies van der Rohe Award 2013 nominee, Seinäjoki Library

Concrete Structure of 2012, Seinäjoki Library

Lighting project of the year 2011, exterior, Saunalahti Children’s House

Shanghai Expo 2010, best pavilion design and architecture, category B, BIE (Bureau International des Expositions)

Mies van der Rohe Award 2009 nominee, Turku Library

Forum AID-Award 2008 nominee, Verkatehdas – Architecture-category, finalist

Forum AID-Award 2008 nominee, Verkatehdas – Interior-category, finalist

Finnish State Award of Architecture 2007

Steel Structure of 2007, Verkatehdas Cultural Center

Glass Structure of 2007, Verkatehdas Cultural Center

Concrete Structure of 2007, Turku City Library

Mies van der Rohe Award 2007 nominee, Viikki Church

Frame The Great Indoors Award 2007 nominee, Viikki Church – Serve & Facilitate-category

Chicago Athenaeum 2006, International Architecture Award, Viikki Church, 2006

Pietilä Award, 2006

Wood Award 2006 nominee, Viikki Church

All awards

Selected Press

All Selected Press