New Standards presents the story of Puutalo Oy at Lusto

New Standards, which made its debut in the Pavilion of Finland in 2021, will be on display once again. After the Biennale, the exhibition has visited the Museum of Finnish Architecture, and the next stop will be the Finnish Forest Museum in Lusto, from 28 April to 30 September.

New Standards tells the unique story behind the world conquest of Finnish prefabricated wooden houses after the Second World War. Founded in 1940, Puutalo Oy originally built new homes for Karelian evacuees, but grew into an international export organisation in less than a decade. Its repertoire ranged from detached houses to schools, dormitories and hospitals, with modest exteriors that contained significant innovations.

The exhibition, curated by Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa, tells the story of the heyday of the industrial timber house, and in Lusto, New Standards is complemented by parts of the Maununneva School from the museum’s collection. The Maununneva School, completed in 1955 and demolished in 2021, was a rare Finnish example of a prefabricated school built by Puutalo Oy. You can read more about the architecturally valuable school building in an article by Berger, Tidwell and Vesikansa through this link.

Originally commissioned and produced by Archinfo Finland for the Pavilion of Finland at the Biennale Architettura 2021 in Venice, the exhibition is conceived by Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa. New photography of the Puutalo houses has been specially commissioned from acclaimed photographer Juuso Westerlund in order to show how these houses are inhabited today, and how they have been personalised over decades of use. After 80 years, Puutalo buildings have proven robust enough to withstand extensive use, updates and modifications in a wide variety of contexts and climates.

You can explore the New Standards exhibition online through this link.