Infrastructure of 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oulu Museum and Science Centre Competition, Purchase Award
Vaasa Market Square Design Competition, 1. Prize for LOCI, Ramboll, VALOA, JKMM & WSP team
Karhula School Centre, Kotka, Honorary Mention
Lillehammer Art Museum Design Competition, Norway, 1. Prize
Vaasan Museonranta Invited Architectural Competition, Vaasa, Honorary Mention
Pasila Central Tower Area Competition, Helsinki, 1. Prize
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
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
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
The International Architecture Awards 2022 (Chicago Athenaeum), Kirkkonummi Library
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 Awards 2021 (Chicago Athenaeum), 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