House of Sound will open in 2026 in Akola Manor in Ii, Finland

30 01 2024

Opening in 2026 on the grounds of Akola Manor in Ii in Northern Finland, House of Sound is a creation by Marko Ahtisaari, artistic director Aleksandra Peljin, and architect and founding partner Teemu Kurkela of JKMM. The opening exhibition will be curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director, Serpentine. 

Plans for the new center for sound art, exhibitions, and research were announced on Tuesday 30 January at the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, at an event on the future of museums and the infrastructure of happiness together with JKMM Architects. 

“We are designing and building a new House of Sound, a space to listen, uniquely focused on sound art and exhibitions on the physics, neuroscience, human, social, and environmental impacts of sound,” said Marko Ahtisaari. “In a world with so much noise, creating a time and place for listening is more relevant than ever.” 

”The structure is built in massive local timber, becoming a big instrument for sound,” said architect Teemu Kurkela of JKMM. “I imagine myself walking into empty space, suddenly filled with sound.” 

A temple for listening where echoes of the unheard resonate

Guests of House of Sound will be given a listening menu from the exclusive collection of sound works that can only be heard on-site. While remaining in the same space, visitors will be able to sonically teleport to unique remote locations around the world. The guest experience will begin in silence and will focus on uninterrupted, deep listening. 

“Imagine encountering rare sound pieces, unattainable elsewhere, or immersing yourself in the ambient sounds of secluded corners of Earth – all of it conducting the rhythm of your daily routine,” says founding artistic director, Aleksandra Peljin. “In the quiet setting of Akola Manor in Ii, Finland, a cultural haven is emerging – a sonic sanctuary where unheard soundscapes and faraway sounds find a voice. We are building a place where echoes of the unheard resonate.” 

The opening exhibition of House of Sound in August 2026 will be curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director, Serpentine. This will be the first time in over 25 years that Hans Ulrich returns to Finland to create an exhibition.

The international team behind House of Sound was brought together by Ahtisaari to continue a two-decade inquiry into the art and impact of sound. Most recently he has served as artistic director of Helsinki Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in the Nordics.

For visitors wishing to remain at House of Sound for more than a day an integral part of the experience will be staying at Akola Manor, a beautifully restored example of Gustavian architecture dating back to 1796. The restoration was a personal project for Kurkela, who spent his childhood summers in Akola.

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