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FINNISH INSTITUTE

Part 1 Project 2005
Matthew Hanson
Newcastle University Newcastle-Upon-Tyne UK
Finnish Institutes provide a cultural connection/liaison for their chosen country, within their locality and nationally.

The buildings form complimentarily responds to natural lighting and privacy for itself and its surrounding neighbours and to the patterns/permutations of the historic urban fabric.
Its bipartite nature while practically separating functions also reciprocates the buildings use as a conversation between two cultures. The space they enclose provides a courtyard (in an area that is lacking in static public space), that is visible from the street encouraging public use, instigating an encounter that begins on an incidental social level then invites further exploration.

Matthew Hanson


Matthew seized the potential of the quayside site, integrating commercial activities at this vibrant edge, frontalising the official public functions into a tightly constrained plot. Within the urban block he defined a square as a place of occasion to revitalise the network of routes of the medieval urban grain. Convincingly related to this he zoned an elegant wing for an artist's apartment and a gallery, utilising Aalto's Villa Mairea as antecedent for the bipartite composition. Throughout, persuasive historical analysis of complex urban patterns and cultural context was integral. His design language is maturely handled, embodying clarity and elegance.

2005
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