Academy of Fine Arts, Mylly

The new building for the University of the Arts (Uniarts) Helsinki, the Academy of Fine Arts, provides students and staff with exceptional facilities for tuition and making art within an architecturally distinct building.v

The architecture of the new building of the University of the Arts Helsinki, the Academy of Fine Arts celebrates the imaginative integration of existing structures and pays homage to the history of Sörnäinen, a post-industrial district buzzing today with young urban life. The new campus building has been designed as a direct response to the needs of future visionaries providing generous contemporary makerspace with the latest technologies.

The ingenuity of the architecture lies in offering students of fine arts, lighting and sound design and design for the performing arts generous, muscular, well-lit, and clearly defined spaces. The communal and modifiable architecture will lend itself to a variety of uses for creating and experiencing a wide range of art forms, using different media, and working on scales from the intimate to the imposing. The architecture designed by JKMM is thus there to enable rather than restrict creative endeavour. At the heart of the new five-storey building of the Academy of Fine Arts is a top-lit courtyard defined by a dramatic steel staircase that cuts through space diagonally from one level to the next. In this dynamic and communal core, the students move around from studios and learning spaces. On the ground floor there is a public gallery. On the roof level a large outdoor terrace is for making and exhibiting art together with far-reaching views over the city.

Together with the partially remodeled Theatre Academy, the new building of Academy of Fine Arts is part of the creative Uniarts campus on a site making fresh use of former industrial downtown area. The academies interconnect through a refurbished Modernist silo. JKMM has also transformed a neighbouring converted electrical works to provide an additional accommodation directly linked to the new build part of the scheme. The pared down aesthetic of design and choice of clearly defined deep-set windows within the brick elevations reflects the functional industrial heritage. In the interiors, fair-faced concrete and steel surfaces and overall material choices have been specified for longevity and ease of maintenance. With its raw surfaces and sense of spatial and experiential adventure, this is a building budding artists can respond to, challenge imaginatively and make their own.