Urban Adaptation Competition Winners

John Hill
1. March 2021
1st Prize: S M L XL by Francesco Allaix and Julio Orduña (All images courtesy of Metsä Wood)

Metsä Group, Aalto University, and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment have announced the winners of the Urban Adaptation competition, which asked architects and students to design adaptable modular buildings made from wood.

Specifically, Urban Adaption challenged "architects and students from around the world to find a way to create multi-use buildings which can adapt to the changing needs of the urban community." Entrants were asked to "select a centrally-located empty plot in a city area and develop an innovative modular wood design for a public building that easily adapts to the changing needs of the community." 

Jurors Rahel Belatchew, architect at Stockholm's Belatchew Arkitekter, and Minna Riska, architect at Oslo's MDH Arkitekter, selected two prize-winners and one honorable mention:

  • 1st Prize €15,000: S M L XL by Francesco Allaix and Julio Orduña (Finland)
  • 2nd Prize: €5,000: Zerno by Alexandra Chislavleva, Sergey Ogorodnikov and Xenia Yakimenko (Russia)
  • Honorable Mention: Modu-Rot by Onur Karataş, Alp Fahri Ardıç and Muhammed Yasin Gülmez (Turkey)
1st Prize: S M L XL by Francesco Allaix and Julio Orduña
1st Prize €15,000: S M L XL by Francesco Allaix and Julio Orduña

"The winning entry, S M L XL, is a well thought out proposal that showcases the flexibility of modular wooden construction in relation to a program that can be adapted over time making it possible to create an ever-changing mix of program." – Rahel Belatchew

2nd Prize: Zerno by Alexandra Chislavleva, Sergey Ogorodnikov & Xenia Yakimenko
2nd Prize: €5,000: Zerno by Alexandra Chislavleva, Sergey Ogorodnikov and Xenia Yakimenko

"The proposal shows a solution how abandoned villages in Russia can be re-activated with a prefabricated light compactly packed self-build village structure. In the light of recent changes in the society due to the pandemic the proposal, Zerno is relevant in providing us with a poetic vision of how society could return to abandoned rural areas seeking isolation in the form of a rural retreat." – Minna Riska

Honorable Mention: Modu-Rot by Onur Karataş, Alp Fahri Ardıç & Muhammed Yasin Gülmez
Honorable Mention: Modu-Rot by Onur Karataş, Alp Fahri Ardıç and Muhammed Yasin Gülmez

"Entry Modu-Rot addresses the challenge many architects face of creating variation within a modular system. The proposal shows how variety can be achieved while only using one single module component." –Rahel Belatchew


See also: "The Advantages of Ki," and article on the new Metsä Pavilion, designed by Helin & Co Architects from Helsinki, that stands on the grounds of the Finnish Embassy in Tokyo's Roppongi district.

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