Under the pretext of Finnish myth - the Kalevala - the project aims to bring Alvar Aalto's remnant chip container building in Oulu, Finland, back to life. Aalto, a member of the National Romantic Movement that sought to build a Finnish cultural identity, used the Kalevala as a source of inspiration for his work, always obsessed with the sensual forms wood can take in both the boreal forest and the Karelian house.
The particular focus of the project is on the mythical image of the Sampo, a magical device said to eternally produce flour, gold and salt and over which the North and the South of Finland have had historical battles for. Aalto's chip container in Oulu, at the border between North and South, is used as a 'smithy' to create the Aalto Sampo. Three towers emerge: flour veiling the landscape, salt encrusting into the landscape and gold reflecting onto the landscape...

A Projected Reading of Boreal Landscapes

Alvar Aalto's chip container building in Oulu and the boreal landscape of Nellim in Lapland are sliced in an attempt to extract a reading of the two environments.

A Projected Association of Boreal Landscapes

To each slice of the chip container building we associate a slice of the Northern landscape.

The Merger of Boreal Landscapes

The reading Lapland's environment is inserted into the chip container, thus using it as the mythical smithy.

The Forging of the Sampo

The Sampo, the mythical device that is said to eternally produce gold, flour and salt, is forged in the smithy. The two-dimensional reading of the landscapes suddenly becomes three-dimensional.

The Sampo Grows

The Kalevala tells us that the magical Sampo grows ten-fold from its smithy and that three roots emerge from the ground to support it.

Aalto's Sampo

The chip container building is brought back to life as it feeds water into the cycles of constantly processing salt, gold and flour respectively.

Aalto's Sampo and its Surfaces

The Sampo is composed of three surfaces, each challenging the other's boundaries: the structural surface, the skin and the phenomena. The model explores the formal relationship between the structural surfaces of the respective roots.

The Flour Root

Due to the explosive nature of the interaction of flour and air, the Flour Root veils the landscape.

The Salt Root

The salt gathering onto the vessels encrusts into the landscape.

The Gold Root

Gold nuggets accumulate in the folds of the riffles and through the movement of the sun reflect onto the landscape.