Lemminkäinen announces winners of construction sector innovation competition

LEMMINKÄINEN CORPORATION      PRESS RELEASE                 15 March at 12.00 a.m.

Lemminkäinen announces winners of construction sector innovation competition


The award of Lemminkäinen’s 100th anniversary competition, EUR 50,000, is divided between three proposals. All of the winning proposals call for new living solutions that must be able to adapt and change according to different life stages. Overall, we received more than pro series 40 proposals that improve people’s everyday lives, work and mobility.

In August 2010, Lemminkäinen announced an innovation competition in honour of its 100th anniversary, seeking environmentally and socially responsible ideas for living, working and travelling.  The jury assessed the competition entries from the viewpoint of innovativeness, topicality and feasibility. "The best proposals succeeded in combining ambition and feasibility with sustainable development," explains Timo Kohtamäki, President and CEO of Lemminkäinen Corporation.

In addition to Kohtamäki, the other members of the competition jury were Professor Alf Rehn (Åbo Akademi University); Jukka Pekkanen, D. Tech., Director, the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT; Emmi Hietala, student of technology (student representative of the board of the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers); Juha Kostiainen, PhD, Director (the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA / Public Leadership and Management Programme); and Professor Hilkka Lehtonen (Aalto University, Urban studies).

"The awarded proposals provide interesting viewpoints to the changing needs of housing in modern-day Finland. For example, ageing of the population and different kinds of family structures require an increasing amount of flexibility in their living solutions: these include accommodation for family carers or young members of the family who are gradually becoming more independent, as well as living solutions for different generations of the family who are living under the same roof," Kohtamäki lists. "On the other hand, no single competition entry was ambitious or innovative enough to merit the entire award on its own."

The winning proposals:

Distributed living model

Laura Vara, Helsinki, Architect SAFA
Jesperi Vara, Helsinki, Architect SAFA

"‘Traditional Finnish housing design is universally valid – the same solutions are expected to be suitable for all.  At the same time, however, Finland is becoming more international and eclectic, and the ways of life are becoming more diverse. Our proposal, the distributed living model, is a theoretic model for a type of urban living where the occupants are able to expand their living space into separate satellite rooms. These are separate rooms in a new or an old house, located outside the actual living quarters, but in their immediate proximity. In terms of their furnishings, they are stripped down and smaller in size. This model reduces the need for moving caused by various changes in life: people can stay in their familiar environment for longer, maintaining the existing service structure and important social networks."

Versatile apartment

Veli-Matti Tolppi, Helsinki, Interior Designer SIO, Master of Arts (Art and Design). This work is based on Tolppi’s diploma work in the degree programme of Spatial Design at the Aalto University School of Art and Design.

"Usually, apartments cannot be designed with any individual occupant in mind, and therefore the solutions are fairly customary.  However, rooms could be designed so that the occupants can freely use them for the function of their choice.  The purpose of use of the rooms can also be changed as and when the individual or family situation changes, and the flexibility will not require extensive renovation work. Versatility can also be improved with space planning, such as not designing rooms that give access to the other rooms. This way, a large number of rooms can be used as bedrooms. Attention should also be paid to diverse options for furnishing the rooms. For example, rooms are not designated as bedrooms by installing 60-cm deep fitted wardrobes in them."

TAIKA (Magic) living concept

Working group: Anne Ikonen, Helsinki, fourth-year design student at Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences; Hanna Salminen, Porvoo, fourth-year design student at Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences; Andrei Patrushin, Kouvola, Designer. 

"In our competition entry, we wanted to draw attention to the way apartments would better serve the needs of today’s consumers. Modularity enables adaptability of houses according to the different stages in life. We feel that our solution offers a new life-cycle model for living, which also considerably increases well-being among groups of people of different ages. Our idea is based on the concept of 'better everyday living'. In our opinion, better everyday living means easy accessibility of services, short distances, good transport connections, and a community spirit that provides a sense of security." 

Corporate Communications

For more information, please contact:
Kati Renvall
Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Lemminkäinen Group
Secretary to the Innovation Award 2010 Jury
tel. +358 2071 54855

Winners’ CVs and more detailed descriptions of the proposals are available on the Lemminkäinen website http://www.lemminkainen.fi/Media/Mediamateriaalit

A joint photo of the winners can be downloaded from the website 15 March after the publication.


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Lemminkäinen Group operates in all areas of the construction sector. The Group’s business sectors are building construction, infrastructure construction and technical building services. Net sales in 2010 were about EUR 2.0 billion, of which international operations accounted for roughly a quarter. The Group employs about 8,300 people. Lemminkäinen Corporation’s share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki. www.lemminkainen.fi