Jari Lonka was invited to step up as our sixth Partner. He has had a long and influential stretch at the office, and is known as an all-around good guy and an excellent architect. His specialty is Urban Planning & Development, a subject which he also has taught at Aalto University.
Architect's task always begins with analysis. What, why, for whom. What kind of environment, what kind of future prospects. What is needed more of, what is not needed at all. How does it all function, how could it work even better. Jari Lonka, head of our Urban Planning & Development department, gave a lecture on the subject of Local context and identity, two cornerstones of design, in Sotkamo yesterday. The development seminar for Vuokatti (Sotkamo) tourism destination area focused on the forthcoming area master plan and development strategy.
We are no longer a young start-up, but we did take part in the Slush-conference. Even start-ups need walls and shelter. Skolkovo, Russia's answer to Silicon Valley, is under way near Moscow. The intention is to attract Russia's current and upcoming technology leaders, as well as foreign leaders and partners, into one campus. The technology campus will be a car-free and energy efficient city of the future. That is where we designed a new concept office building for SRV, a building that is fit for small enterprises, is ecological, easily adaptable, utilizes the latest technology, and where one can even pedal their bicycle all the way to their desk.
On 12th of November 2013, L Architects became the 561st member of NP Association of Design Engineers of St. Petersburg. NP (Non-Commercial Partnership) Association of Design Engineers SRO (Self- Regulatory Organization) is a non-profit and self-regulating organization, functioning under the Russian Federation's Municipal Planning Law 190-FZ and other federal laws pertaining to self-regulating organizations. The system of Self-Regulatory Organizations was established to replace the old licensing system. The gradual phasing-out of the previous system has been going on since 2009. The SRO members have an official designing permit throughout the Russian Federation area. More info here.
Being approved as an SRO member, our office has been granted a designing permit valid throughout the Russian Federation in its entirety as well as granting us equal standing with all of our local business partners.
Our presence in Russia as architects and designers has been steadily growing througout the years and we expect this growth to continue in the future as well. At this particular moment, we have several active projects in Russia: shopping malls in St. Petersburg, office buildings in Moscow and St. Petersburg and sport venues in Yaroslavl (in cooperation with our business partners AMFI Architects Ltd.). Our sustainability services are well established in Russia, too. At present, we have LEED certification processes in progress for three major projects.
As a forward-looking 20-year old, Larkas & Laine decided to freshen up a bit and even change the name. From now on, we will be known as L Architects. The new name is quite simply and conveniently shortened from the old one; we keep the best of the past, now ready for future adventures. Partners and their responsibilities are the same as before, only some new members were added to the management team.
This reforming process naturally made us consider our core values and what we believe in. We found this to be the most important: First and foremost, buildings and our whole built environment exists for us to live, work and play in. Buildings must be designed for use, and for people, not as monuments.
The urban environments and landscapes of our future are now being planned and built. It is a great joy and responsibility to be part of it.
Our awesome new visual identity was designed by Bond, creative agency focused on branding.
Welcome to visit our renewed website!
Larkas & Laine celebrated her 20th birthday in the recently refreshed office. Guests had fun having their caricatures drawn and playing pinball, while tasty coctails were made and served in a showy fashion, quite like Tom Cruise in his heyday.
They play soccer in Mexico, we have a great multipurpose stadium concept already designed. Maybe this could mean business?
This year Larkas & Laine will turn 20. Here are some moments throughout the years, also the top-notch work station circa 2000.
We finally participated in the traditional Finnish architect firm football tournament. After a heroic battle, K2S won, we came a close 4th. Or 5th. Or maybe 6th.
During our long, cold winters, exercise bikes are the only bikes we get to use. In the summer months we try to make the best of the real bikes and cycle all over the country, sometimes even after work. Porvoo is conviniently only 50 km away; perfect for an evening excursion.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a quick visit to summery Helsinki. As global warming was one of the main themes of the visit, our environmental specialist Daniela Grotenfelt was also invited to the soiree held at the US embassy in honor of Mrs. Clinton.
For the traditional summer excursion, this year we travelled to Hämeenlinna to see some tiles. More specifically, the new Verkatehdas cultural center in an old fabric factory, then the medieval Häme Castle, where we had a proper medieval dinner, eaten by hand.
Skanska Finland headquarters opening was officially celebrated yesterday. Among the guests were Skanska president and CEO Johan Karlström, Finnish minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies, our team of architects, and some other important people.
The Stadium Business Summit is a dedicated meeting bringing together the major owners, operators and developers from the world of stadiums, arenas and sport venues. Then and there, our multipurpose stadium –concept is exhibited for the first time to a wider audience. The genius behind our concept is the up-and-down movable play field, enabling two separate venues to be in action simultaneously.
Our partner firm Amfi is now conveniently situated in the same office space as Larkas & Laine. Amfi Architects is focused on international projects, and specifically projects in Russia, with a wide range of sports arenas (including five major league KHL arenas) under their belt.
The first phase of Technopolis Pulkovo has been in use and fully occupied for a while now. It is high time to build some more, which is why Phase Two broke ground this past February. Phase Two will also apply for LEED Certificate, a process our office will be taking care of.
The existing 24 000 gross sqm will thus expand by additional 22 000 sqm, bringing the total western-style modern office area to about half of the projected four phase total of 82 000 sqm.