Listening to Finland POLKU


Minsheng Lecture



Jyri Eskola

The Finnish Architecture from the Nature

Guest: Jyri Eskola (Finnish)
Co-host: Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai, Business Finland, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum
Date: October 17, 2020
Time: 14:30-17:00
Venue: Multimedia Hall (1F), Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum

Notice:For public health security, please make a real-name preservation and bring your ID for admission of the event. Please wait in line to get your temperature measured, hands sanitized, and information registered with the help of our staff. Please wear a face mask during the event. If you are experiencing a fever, coughing, or short breath, please understand that admission is not granted.

2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Finland. Coincidently, the current exhibition in Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum is the great Finnish contemporary artist duo Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen’s first solo exhibition ever held in Asia. During this exhibition, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum collaborates with the Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai and Business Finland to launch the series of public education activities “Listening to Finland” in honor of the 70th anniversary of China-Finland diplomatic relations. This series of public education activities will cover diverse aspects of Finland, including art, architecture, design, education, lifestyle, people’s relation with nature, etc., in order to panoramically reveal the contemporary cultural climate of Finland and bring in new energy to the current conversation between China and Finland.

The Finnish way of thinking is greatly influenced by the Nordic climate and natural environment, where mankind is closely yet uniquely connected to the nature. With a small population scattered around lakes and forests, the Finnish encounter with the nature even in the city centers. The influence of natural environment and climate can be found in even the slightest detail of daily life, and therefore, it is still the major source of inspiration for the Finnish and a vital part of their identity.

POLKU is an approach for human or animal to discover nature—in this context, a way to experience or to feel the architecture or art. The Finnish culture prefers seeking inner peace in the outdoor world, where nature can be the supportive pal. In Finland, citizens are often confined to the indoor life, while winters in Finland means long nights and little daylight. These result in their craving to be close to the nature.
The pursuit of blending with the natural surroundings and practical use are the main features of Finnish Organic Modernism, which was coined back in the 1920s, an architecture style that strives to balance the form and practical functions, with the idea that “every building should grow naturally from its environment”. This has greatlyimpacted Finnish architecture and integrating space into a unified whole has been the basic principle of Finnish architecture.

As one of the leading and most international architecture and design firms in Finland, PES-Architects was founded by architect Pekka Salminen in 1968 Helsinki. One of the most significant projects by PES-Architects is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Sustainable design, in terms of ecological, economical and architectural quality, is essential and is a self-evident part of the design solutions of PES-Architecs. As Salminen said: “It is not enough to think about how the new architecture looks when it is built, but to think about how it will look in 20 years.”

Jyri Eskola from PES-Architecs will talk about POLKU and introduce contemporary Finnish architecture design. He will share his architectural perspective about the installations and spatial construction in the exhibition “Flow with the Matter”. He will also share about how Finnish architecture design responds and integrates with nature.

About the guest

Jyri Eskola

Finnish architect and researcher. Graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design with a Master of Architecture in 2016. Before that he got a BA from Architectural Association and BSc Architecture from Aalto University in 2012. He is the winner of Clifford Wong Housing Prize in Harvard in 2015, and the Fulbright Renewal Grant by Fulbright Center Finland in 2014, Annikki Passikivi Grant by Asko Foundation in 2012.
Currently he works as the China Development Director at PES-Architects. He is in charge of PES-Architects’ projects in China and leads his team to win numerous architecture design prizes in China and Finland. Before working at PES-Architects, Jyri Eskola worked at ALA Architects from 2013 to 2015 and Graduate School of Design at Harvard University as a teaching and researching assistant from 2015 to 2016. His academic researches and design have been exhibited and published by Harvard and other publishers.